Executive branches of governments have always enjoyed a primacy in managing foreign policy and waging war. However, in several contemporary constitutional systems this trend has been offset through (more or less effective) parliamentary powers. When looking at recent developments concerning the Syrian crisis, could it be that parliamentary prerogatives in matters of foreign and defense policy are gaining new momentum?
In fact, in this area, the relations between political-parliamentary forces tend to weigh in more prominently than existing norms or constitutional conventions, regardless of the fact that dissenting parliamentary positions are made official through parliamentary deliberations. In the last few months governments have continued to ask parliaments to “take it or leave it”, but where parliaments would have once taken it, they have now decided to leave it.
Fabio Longo is a Researcher in Comparative Public Law at the University of Turin