Our going-forward planning includes providing educators with a wide range of materials and resources with the intent to give students and teachers a comprehensive and interactive guide to the broad range of Constitutions around the globe and their related contemporary issues. Multiple reliable web resources provide teachers with a wide range of lesson plans and resource materials on the the breadth of international constitutions, civic engagement, democracy, government and historical context.
This site was designed to expand with the popularity of World Constitution Day and continues to connect readers to lively, interactive and welcoming civic and educational groups worldwide wishing to publicize and disseminate their own World Constitution Day materials, resources and event plans. This web site seeks to act as an international clearinghouse and a link to other web sites and organizations with similar missions. We've created a growing, supportive cyber-community to add to the interest and excitement in celebrating this World Constitution Day.
Conversations during World Constitution Day are to encourage civil discussion and debate about the meaning of some of a constitution's concepts and clauses that are the subject of current and ongoing constitutional debate. These conversations are organized around constitutional clauses or concepts that explore aspects of constitutional principles, interpretation and international law from both historical and contemporary perspectives. Topics include separation of powers, advice and consent of members of congress, establishment of religion, unreasonable searches and seizures, and much more.
World Constitution Day seeks to foster dialog which will create consensus solutions to difficult legal and constitutional issues. It aids this through constructive dialogue across international, ideological and partisan lines, and through scholarship, civic activism and public education efforts with a focus on celebration on a single day, once per year. You will be able to join these programs for free from your home computer, laptop, or any mobile device, or at other events located worldwide.
The World's Constitutions to Read, Search and Compare
New constitutions are written every year. The people who write these important documents need to read and analyze texts from other places. Constitute offers access to the world’s constitutions so that users can systematically compare them across a broad set of topics - using an inviting, clean interface.
Comparative Constitutions Project- Informing Constitutional Design
Scholars who produce comprehensive data about the world's constitutions to promote peace, justice, and human development through the constitution making process.
iConnect- Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law.
Real-time updates on important new constitutional cases,
For great resources see: http://www.iconnectblog.com/
Constitution Facts- entire text of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence
Today, more than 3 million people visit the USA www.constitutionfacts.com annually and retail sales of their book, combined with a free book program, deep discounts for organizations, schools and others has made them a leading resource for educating people about the USA Constitution.
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Constitutions are supposed to provide an enduring structure for politics. Yet only half live more than nineteen years. Why is it that some constitutions endure while others do not? In The Endurance of National Constitutions, Zachary Elkins, Tom Ginsburg, and James Melton examine the causes of constitutional endurance from an institutional perspective. Supported by an original set of cross-national historical data, theirs is the first comprehensive study of constitutional mortality. They show that whereas constitutions are imperiled by social and political crises, certain aspects of a constitution’s design can lower the risk of death substantially. Thus, to the extent that endurance is desirable – a question that the authors also subject to scrutiny – the decisions of founders take on added importance.
Constitutional Amendments: Making, Breaking, and Changing Constitutions, by Richard Albert is both a roadmap for navigating the intellectual universe of constitutional amendments and a blueprint for building and improving the rules of constitutional change. Drawing from dozens of constitutions in every region of the world, this book blends theory with practice to answer two all-important questions: what is an amendment and how should constitutional designers structure the procedures of constitutional change? The first matters now more than ever. Reformers are exploiting the rules of constitutional amendment, testing the limits of legal constraint, undermining the norms of democratic government, and flouting the constitution as written to create entirely new constitutions that masquerade as ordinary amendments. The second question is central to the performance and endurance of constitutions. Constitutional designers today have virtually no resources to guide them in constructing the rules of amendment, and scholars do not have a clear portrait of the significance of amendment rules in the project of constitutionalism.
The Limits and Legitimacy of Referendums
Edited by Richard Albert and Richard Stacey
A fresh look at referendums through the lenses of constitutionalism, democracy, and liberalism.
Evaluates whether and how referendums can be used as an effective and reliable mechanism of popular sovereignty and democratic choice.
Scholars looking at a diverse set of cases grapple with the essential question in referendums: who are the people and how can we know when they have spoken?
This innovative book explores how referendums manage the tension between liberalism and democracy, and whether this device holds promise for reconciling these two commitments. A range of scholars from around the world expose how referendums may be abused on one hand to achieve short-term political or even personal gains, and how, on the other, they may aspire to reflect the best traditions of deliberative, innovative, democracy-enhancing popular decision-making.
The possibility of democracy-enhancing uses and anti-democratic abuses of referendums reveals a paradox: mechanisms of democracy can be exploited to do violence to the basic principles of democracy. The Limits and Legitimacy of Referendums seeks to identify standards we might use to assess the democratic legitimacy of a referendum when we cannot rely on the norms of traditional liberal democracy.
The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen: Warfare, Constitutions, and the Making of the Modern World
by Linda Colley (Author)
Vivid and magisterial, The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen reconfigures the rise of a modern world through the advent and spread of written constitutions. A work of extraordinary range and striking originality, The Gun, the Ship, and the Pen traces the global history of written constitutions from the 1750s to the twentieth century, modifying accepted narratives and uncovering the close connections between the making of constitutions and the making of war. In the process, author Linda Colley both reappraises famous constitutions and recovers those that have been marginalized but were central to the rise of a modern world. She brings to the fore neglected sites, such as Corsica, with its pioneering constitution of 1755, and tiny Pitcairn Island in the Pacific, the first place on the globe permanently to enfranchise women. She highlights the role of unexpected players, such as Catherine the Great of Russia, who was experimenting with constitutional techniques with her enlightened Nakaz decades before the Founding Fathers framed the American constitution. Written constitutions are usually examined in relation to individual states, but Colley focuses on how they crossed boundaries, spreading into six continents by 1918 and aiding the rise of empires as well as nations. She also illumines their place not simply in law and politics but also in wider cultural histories, and their intimate connections with print, literary creativity, and the rise of the novel.
The Right to Science: Then and Now
by Helle Porsdam (Editor), Sebastian Porsdam Mann (Editor)
That everyone has a human right to enjoy the benefits of the progress of science and its applications comes as a surprise to many. Nevertheless, this right is pertinent to numerous issues at the intersection of science and society: open access; 'dual use' science; access to ownership and dissemination of data, knowledge, methods and the affordances and applications thereof; as well as the role of international co-operation, human dignity and other human rights in relation to science and its products. As we advance towards superintelligence, quantum computing, drone swarms, and life-extension technology, serious policy decisions will be made at the national and international levels. The human right to science provides an ideal tool to do so, backed up as it is by international law, political heft, and normative weight. This book is the first sustained attempt at turning this wonder of foresight into an actionable and justiciable, court exercized right.
The Making of Constitutional Democracy:
From Creation to Application of Law (Law and Practical Reason)
by Paolo Sandro (Author), George Pavlakos (Series Editor)
This book addresses a palpable, yet widely neglected, tension in legal discourse. In our everyday legal practices – whether taking place in a courtroom, classroom, law firm, or elsewhere – we routinely and unproblematically talk of the activities of creating and applying the law. However, when legal scholars have analysed this distinction in their theories (rather than simply assuming it), many have undermined it, if not dismissed it as untenable. The book considers the relevance of distinguishing between law-creation and law-application and how this transcends the boundaries of jurisprudential enquiry. It argues that such a distinction is also a crucial component of political theory. For if there is no possibility of applying a legal rule that was created by a different institution at a previous moment in time, then our current constitutional-democratic frameworks are effectively empty vessels that conceal a power relationship between public authorities and citizens that is very different from the one on which constitutional democracy is grounded. After problematising the most relevant objections in the literature, the book presents a comprehensive defence of the distinction between creation and application of law within the structure of constitutional democracy. It does so through an integrated jurisprudential methodology, which combines insights from different disciplines (including history, anthropology, political science, philosophy of language, and philosophy of action) while also casting new light on long-standing issues in public law, such as the role of legal discretion in the law-making process and the scope of the separation of powers doctrine.
The People’s Constitution: 200 Years, 27 Amendments, and the Promise of a More Perfect Union
by John F. Kowal (Author), Wilfred U. Codrington III (Author)
The 233-year story of how the American people have taken an imperfect constitution—the product of compromises and an artifact of its time—and made it more democratic Who wrote the Constitution? That’s obvious, we think: fifty-five men in Philadelphia in 1787. But much of the Constitution was actually written later, in a series of twenty-seven amendments enacted over the course of two centuries. The real history of the Constitution is the astonishing story of how subsequent generations have reshaped our founding document amid some of the most colorful, contested, and controversial battles in American political life. It’s a story of how We the People have improved our government’s structure and expanded the scope of our democracy during eras of transformational social change. The People’s Constitution is an elegant, sobering, and masterly account of the evolution of American democracy. From the addition of the Bill of Rights, a promise made to save the Constitution from near certain defeat, to the post–Civil War battle over the Fourteenth Amendment, from the rise and fall of the “noble experiment” of Prohibition to the defeat and resurgence of an Equal Rights Amendment a century in the making, The People’s Constitution is the first book of its kind: a vital guide to America’s national charter, and an alternative history of the continuing struggle to realize the Framers’ promise of a more perfect union.
The New Fourth Branch (Comparative Constitutional Law and Policy)
by Mark Tushnet (Author)
Twenty-first-century constitutions now typically include a new 'fourth branch' of government, a group of institutions charged with protecting constitutional democracy, including electoral management bodies, anticorruption agencies, and ombuds offices. This book offers the first general theory of the fourth branch; in a world where governance is exercised through political parties, we cannot be confident that the traditional three branches are enough to preserve constitutional democracy. The fourth branch institutions can, by concentrating within themselves distinctive forms of expertise, deploy that expertise more effectively than the traditional branches are capable of doing. However, several case studies of anticorruption efforts, electoral management bodies, and audit bureaus show that the fourth branch institutions do not always succeed in protecting constitutional democracy, and indeed sometimes undermine it. The book concludes with some cautionary notes about placing too much hope in these – or, indeed, in any – institutions as the guarantors of constitutional democracy.
Constitutionalism: Old Dilemmas, New Insights
by Alejandro Linares Cantillo (Editor),
Camilo Valdivieso-León (Co-editor),
Santiago García-Jaramillo (Co-editor)
This book is a compilation of twenty essays prepared for the occasion of the XIII Academic Conference of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Colombia, held in Bogota in January 2019. Gathering some of the most prominent authors in constitutionalism and legal theory, the chapters critically examine classical debates, such as the role of judicial review in a democracy, the enforcement of socio-economic rights, the doctrine of unconstitutional amendments, the use of international and foreign precedents by national Courts, and the theory of transitional justice. The book opens a dialogue between philosophers and empirical researchers, building bridges between 'Global North' and 'Global South' approaches to constitutionalism. As such, it is an invitation to reengage with the classical debates on constitutionalism whilst also providing fresh insights into the future of this discipline.
Democratic Decay and Authoritarian Resurgence
by Natasha Lindstaedt (Author)
Why do democracies fall apart, and what can be done about it? This book introduces students to the concept and causes of democratic decay in the modern world. Illustrating the integral link between public commitment to democratic norms and the maintenance of healthy democracies, it examines the key factors in decaying democracies, including: • Economic inequality; • Corruption; • Populist and authoritarian discourse; • Declining belief in political institutions and processes. Drawing on real-world developments, and including international case studies, the book outlines the extent to which there is a ‘democratic recession’ in contemporary politics and shows how transnational networks and technology are impacting on this development.
Democracy and Constitutions: Putting Citizens First
by Allan C. Hutchinson (Author)
As things stand, a commitment to weak democracy and strong constitutionalism ensures that a range of elite groups, actors, and institutions – political, economic, intellectual, and legal – hold considerable sway over constitutional matters, leaving less room for the participation of ordinary people. With the continued primacy of liberal constitutionalism, constitutional law has come to represent and facilitate the centrality of judicial power and authority. In Democracy and Constitutions, author Allan C. Hutchinson warns against this deference to a legal elite on questions of constitutional meaning. For Hutchinson, an over-reliance on constitutional law, and a lack of attention to democratic politics, keeps people from influencing the moral and political character of society; it saps civic energies and relegates ordinary people to the sidelines. Engaging and provocative, Democracy and Constitutions charts a course away from the elitism of the present and toward a more democratic future, one that re-balances society’s commitment to both democracy and constitutions. Advocating for a strong democracy and weak constitutionalism, this book places ordinary people at the institutional heart of government and politics, arguing that such a re-calibration is better for democracy and for society.
Routledge Handbook of Subnational Constitutions and Constitutionalism
by Patricia Popelier (Editor),
Giacomo Delledonne (Editor),
Nicholas Aroney (Editor)
This handbook provides a toolbox of definitions and typologies to develop a theory of multilevel constitutionalism and subnational constitutions. The volume examines systems with subnational entities that have full subnational constituent autonomy and systems where subnational constituent powers, while claimed by subnational governments, are incomplete or non-existent. Understanding why complete subnational constituent power exists or is denied sheds significant light on the status and functioning of subnational constitutions. The book deals with questions of how constitutions at multiple levels of a political system can co-exist and interact. The term ‘multilevel constitutionalism’, recognized as explaining how a supranational European constitution can exist alongside those of the Member States, is now used to capture dynamics between constitutions at the national, subnational and, where applicable, supranational levels. Broad in scope, the book encompasses many different types of multi-tiered systems world-wide to map the possible meanings, uses and challenges of subnational or state constitutions in a variety of political and societal contexts. The book develops the building blocks of an explanatory theory of subnational constitutionalism and as such will be an essential reference for all those interested in comparative constitutional law, federalism and governance.
The Customary International Law of Human Rights
by William A. Schabas (Author)
Customary international law is one of the principal sources of public international law. Although its existence is uncontroversial, until now the content of customary international law in the area of human rights has not been analyzed in a comprehensive manner. This book, from one of international law's foremost scholars and practitioners, provides an unparalleled account of the customary international law of human rights. It discusses the emergence of this customary law, the debates about how it is to be identified, and the efforts at formulation of customary norms. In doing so, the book provides a useful and accessible introduction to the content of international human rights. The author uses the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a basis to examine human rights norms, and determine whether they may be described as customary. He makes use of relatively new sources of evidence of the two elements for the identification of custom: State practice and opinio juris. In particular, the book draws on the increasingly universal ratification of major human rights treaties and the materials generated by the Universal Periodic Review mechanism of the Human Rights Council. The book concludes that a large number of human rights norms may indeed be described as customary in nature, and that courts should make greater use of custom as a source of international law.
Power to the People: Constitutionalism in the Age of Populism
by Mark Tushnet (Author), Bojan Bugaric (Author)
Self-described populist leaders around the world are dismantling their nation's constitutions. This has led to a widespread view that populism as such is inconsistent with constitutionalism. This book proposes that some forms of populism are inconsistent with constitutionalism, while others aren't. Context and detail matter. Power to the People offers a thin definition of constitutionalism that people from the progressive left to the conservative right should be able to agree on even if they would supplement the thin definition within other more partisan ideas. This is followed by a similarly basic definition of populism. Comparing the two, this book argues that one facet of populism -its suspicion of institutions that are strongly entrenched against change by political majorities- is sometimes inconsistent with constitutionalism's thinly understood definition. The book provides a series of case studies, some organized by nation, others by topic, to identify, more precisely, when and how populist programs are inconsistent with constitutionalism -and, importantly, when and how they are not. Concluding with a discussion of the possibilities for a deeper, populist democracy, the book examines recent challenges to the idea that democracy is a good form of government by exploring possibilities for new, albeit revisable, institutions that can determine and implement a majority's views without always threatening constitutionalism.
Rule of Law, Common Values, and Illiberal Constitutionalism:
Poland and Hungary within the European Union
(Comparative Constitutional Change)
by Tímea Drinóczi (Author), Agnieszka Bień-Kacała (Author)
This book challenges the idea that the Rule of Law is still a universal European value given its relatively rapid deterioration in Hungary and Poland, and the apparent inability of the European institutions to adequately address the illiberalization of these Member States. The book begins from the general presumption that the Rule of Law, since its emergence, has been a universal European value, a political ideal and legal conception. It also acknowledges that the EU has been struggling in the area of value enforcement, even if the necessary mechanisms are available and, given an innovative outlook and more political commitment, could be successfully used. The authors appreciate the different approaches toward the Rule of Law, both as a concept and as a measurable indicator, and while addressing the core question of the volume, widely rely on them. Ultimately, the book provides a snapshot of how the Rule of Law ideal has been dismantled and offers a theory of the Rule of Law in illiberal constitutionalism. It discusses why voters keep illiberal populist leaders in power when they are undeniably acting contrary to the Rule of Law ideal. The book will be of interest to academics and researchers engaged with the foundational questions of constitutionalism. The structure and nature of the subject matter covered ensure that the book will be a useful addition for comparative and national constitutional law classes. It will also appeal to legal practitioners wondering about the boundaries of the Rule of Law.
Constitutional Change and Popular Sovereignty: Populism, Politics and the Law in Ireland
(Comparative Constitutional Change)
by Maria Cahill (Author),
Colm Ó Cinnéide (Author),
Seán Ó Conaill (Author),
Conor O’Mahony (Author)
This collection focuses on the particular nexus of popular sovereignty and constitutional change, and the implications of the recent surge in populism for systems where constitutional change is directly decided upon by the people via referendum. It examines different conceptions of sovereignty as expressed in constitutional theory and case law, including an in-depth exploration of the manner in which the concept of popular sovereignty finds expression both in constitutional provisions on referendums and in court decisions concerning referendum processes.
While comparative references are made to a number of jurisdictions, the primary focus of the collection is on the experience in Ireland, which has had a lengthy experience of referendums on constitutional change and of legal, political and cultural practices that have emerged in association with these referendums. At a time when populist pressures on constitutional change are to the fore in many countries, this detailed examination of where the Irish experience sits in a comparative context has an important contribution to make to debates in law and political science.
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