Party Law in Comparative Perspective

Authors: Fernando Casal B?rtoa, Daniela R. Piccio, Ekaterina R. Rashkova | Published in: working paper series on the legal regulation of political parties, no. 16, March. | Date of publication: 2012

Political parties have become increasingly subject to laws in the recent years. The liberal principle of non intervention in political parties' internal matters that prevailed across the European continent since the very emergence of political parties as organizations seems no longer to be the dominant paradigm. In this paper we provide an overview of party regulation in the Party Laws of post-war European democracies. Building on previous work studying the constitutional regulation of political parties, a rich and original dataset of party laws has been collected under the Re-conceptualizing Party Democracy project. The chapter explores the temporal pattern of promulgation of Party Laws, their main regulatory focus, and shows how regulation through Party Laws differs over time and across countries. In doing so, it presents an overview of the party law content offering a quantitative overview of the range and magnitude of party regulation, thus depicting trends on the change of regulation over time, insight into what aspects of the life of political parties are regulated most heavily and most often, as well as an analysis of whether significant differences in the evolution of regulation between different groups of countries, exist. The final part of the chapter supplements the quantitative examination of party regulation with a qualitative case study on the party law of Spain.

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