How Constitutions Change

A Comparative Study

How Constitutions Change

This set of essays explores how constitutions change and are changed in a number of countries, and how the 'constitution' of the EU changes and is changed. For a range of reasons, including internal and external pressures, the constitutional arrangements in many countries are changing. Constitutional change may be formal, involving amendments to the texts of Constitutions or the passage of legislation of a clearly constitutional kind, or informal and organic, as where court decisions affect the operation of the system of government, or where new administrative and other arrangements (eg agencification) affect or articulate or alter the operation of the constitution of the country, without the need to resort to formal change. The countries in this study include, from the EU, a common law country, a Nordic one, a former communist state, several civil law systems, parliamentary systems and a hybrid one (France). Chapters on non EU countries include two on developing countries (India and South Africa), two on common law countries without entrenched written constitutions (Israel and New Zealand), a presidential system (the USA) and three federal ones (Switzerland, the USA and Canada). In the last two chapters the editors conduct a detailed comparative analysis of the jurisdiction-based chapters and explore the question whether any overarching theory or theories about constitutional change in liberal democracies emerge from the study.

State Constitutional Politics

Governing by Amendment in the American States

State Constitutional Politics

Since the US Constitution came into force in 1789, it has been amended just twenty-seven times, with ten of those amendments coming in the first two years following ratification. By contrast, state constitutions have been completely rewritten on a regular basis, and the current documents have been amended on average 150 times. This is because federal amendments are difficult, so politicians rarely focus on enacting them. Rather, they work to secure favorable congressional statutes or Supreme Court decisions. By contrast, the relative ease of state amendment processes makes them a realistic and regular vehicle for seeking change. With State Constitutional Politics, John Dinan looks at the various occasions in American history when state constitutional amendments have served as instruments of governance. Among other things, amendments have constrained state officials in the way they levy taxes and spend money; enacted policies unattainable through legislation on issues ranging from minimum wage to the regulation of marijuana; and updated understandings of rights, including religious liberty, equal protection, and the right to bear arms. In addition to comprehensively chronicling the ways amendments shape politics in the states, Dinan also assesses the consequences of undertaking changes in governance through amendments rather than legislation or litigation. For various reasons, including the greater stability and legitimacy of changes achieved through the amendment process, he argues that it might be a more desirable way of achieving change.

The Foundations and Traditions of Constitutional Amendment

The Foundations and Traditions of Constitutional Amendment

There is growing interest in constitutional amendment from a comparative perspective. Comparative constitutional amendment is the study of how constitutions change through formal and informal means, including alteration, revision, evolution, interpretation, replacement and revolution. The field invites scholars to draw insights about constitutional change across borders and cultures, to uncover the motivations behind constitutional change, to theorise best practices, and to identify the theoretical underpinnings of constitutional change. This volume is designed to guide the emergence of comparative constitutional amendment as a distinct field of study in public law. Much of the recent scholarship in the field has been written by the scholars assembled in this volume. This book, like the field it hopes to shape, is not comparative alone; it is also doctrinal, historical and theoretical, and therefore offers a multiplicity of perspectives on a subject about which much remains to be written. This book aspires to be the first to address comprehensively the new dimensions of the study of constitutional amendment, and will become a reference point for all scholars working on the subject. The volume covers all of the topics where innovative work is being done, such as the notion of the people, the trend of empirical quantitative approaches to constitutional change, unamendability, sunrise clauses, constitutional referenda, the conventional divide between constituent and constituted powers, among other important subjects. It creates a dialogue that cuts through these innovative conceptualisations and highlights scholarly disagreement and, in so doing, puts ideas to the test. The volume therefore captures the fierce ongoing debates on the relevant topics, it reveals the current trends and contested issues, and it offers a variety of arguments elaborated by prominent experts in the field. It will open the way for further dialogue.

Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments

The Limits of Amendment Powers

Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments

Can constitutional amendments be unconstitutional? The problem of 'unconstitutional constitutional amendments' has become one of the most widely debated issues in comparative constitutional theory, constitutional design, and constitutional adjudication. This book describes and analyses the increasing tendency in global constitutionalism to substantively limit formal changes to constitutions. The challenges of constitutional unamendability to constitutional theory become even more complex when constitutional courts enforce such limitations through substantive judicial review of amendments, often resulting in the declaration that these constitutional amendments are 'unconstitutional'. Combining historical comparisons, constitutional theory, and a wide comparative study, Yaniv Roznai sets out to explain what the nature of amendment power is, what its limitations are, and what the role of constitutional courts is and should be when enforcing limitations on constitutional amendments.

Social Studies of Science and Technology: Looking Back, Ahead

Looking Back, Ahead

Social Studies of Science and Technology: Looking Back, Ahead

This volume brings together contributions that resemble spotlights thrown on the past twenty-five years of science and technology studies. It covers a broad range: history of science; science and politics; science and contemporary democracy; science and the public; science and the constitution; science and metaphors; and science and modernity and provides a critical overview of how the field of science and technology studies has emerged and developed.

Constitutions in the Global Financial Crisis

A Comparative Analysis

Constitutions in the Global Financial Crisis

This book is the first to address the multi-faceted influence of the global financial crisis on the national constitutions of the countries most affected. By tracing the impact of the crisis on formal and informal constitutional change, sovereignty issues, fundamental rights protection, regulatory reforms, jurisprudence, the augmentation of executive power, and changes in the party system it addresses all areas of the current constitutional law dialogue and aims to become a reference book with regard to the interaction between financial crises and constitutions. The book includes contributions from prominent experts on Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Spain, the UK, and the USA providing a critical analysis of the effects of the financial crisis on the constitution. The volume’s extensive comparative chapter pins down distinct constitutional reactions towards the financial crisis, building an explanatory theory that accounts for the different ways constitutions responded to the crisis. How and why constitutions formed their reactions in the face of the financial crisis unravels throughout the book.

The Harbinger Theory

How the Post-9/11 Emergency Became Permanent and the Case for Reform

The Harbinger Theory

North American law has been transformed in ways unimaginable before 9/11. Laws now authorize and courts have condoned indefinite detention without charge based on secret evidence, mass secret surveillance, and targeted killing of US citizens, suggesting a shift in the cultural currency of a liberal form of legality to authoritarian legality. The Harbinger Theory demonstrates that extreme measures have been consistently embraced in politics, scholarship, and public opinion, not in terms of a general fear of the greater threat that terrorism now poses, but a more specific belief that 9/11 was the harbinger of a new order of terror, giving rise to the likelihood of an attack on the same scale as 9/11 or greater in the near future, involving thousands of casualties and possibly weapons of mass destruction. It explains how the harbinger theory shapes debates about rights and security by virtue of rhetorical strategies on the part of political leaders and security experts, and in works of popular culture, in which the theory is often invoked as a self-evident truth, without the need for supporting evidence or authority. It also reveals how liberal advocates tend to be deferential to the theory, aiding its deeper entrenchment through the absence of a prominent public critique of it. In a unique overview of a range of skeptical evidence about the likelihood of mass terror involving WMD or conventional means, this book contends that a potentially more effective basis for reform advocacy is not to dismiss overstated threat claims as implausible or psychologically grounded, but to challenge the harbinger theory directly through the use of contrary evidence.

Revolutions in Sovereignty

How Ideas Shaped Modern International Relations

Revolutions in Sovereignty

How did the world come to be organized into sovereign states? Daniel Philpott argues that two historical revolutions in ideas are responsible. First, the Protestant Reformation ended medieval Christendom and brought a system of sovereign states in Europe, culminating at the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. Second, ideas of equality and colonial nationalism brought a sweeping end to colonial empires around 1960, spreading the sovereign states system to the rest of the globe. In both cases, revolutions in ideas about legitimate political authority profoundly altered the "constitution" that establishes basic authority in the international system. Ideas exercised influence first by shaping popular identities, then by exercising social power upon the elites who could bring about new international constitutions. Swaths of early modern Europeans, for instance, arrived at Protestant beliefs, then fought against the temporal powers of the Church on behalf of the sovereignty of secular princes, who could overthrow the formidable remains of a unified medieval Christendom. In the second revolution, colonial nationalists, domestic opponents of empire, and rival superpowers pressured European cabinets to relinquish their colonies in the name of equality and nationalism, resulting in a global system of sovereign states. Bringing new theoretical and historical depth to the study of international relations, Philpott demonstrates that while shifts in military, economic, and other forms of material power cannot be overlooked, only ideas can explain how the world came to be organized into a system of sovereign states.

The Oxford Handbook of Economic and Institutional Transparency

The Oxford Handbook of Economic and Institutional Transparency

In recent years, the term 'transparency' has emerged as one of the most popular and keenly-touted concepts around. In the economic-political debate, the principle of transparency is often advocated as a prerequisite for accountability, legitimacy, policy efficiency, and good governance, as well as a universal remedy against corruption, corporate and political scandals, financial crises, and a host of other problems. But transparency is more than a mere catch-phrase. Increased transparency is a bearing ideal behind regulatory reform in many areas, including financial reporting and banking regulation. Individual governments as well as multilateral bodies have launched broad-based initiatives to enhance transparency in both economic and other policy domains. Parallel to these developments, the concept of transparency has seeped its way into academic research in a wide range of social science disciplines, including the economic sciences. This increased importance of transparency in economics and business studies has called for a reference work that surveys existing research on transparency and explores its meaning and significance in different areas. The Oxford Handbook of Economic and Institutional Transparency is such a reference. Comprised of authoritative yet accessible contributions by leading scholars, this Handbook addresses questions such as: What is transparency? What is the rationale for transparency? What are the determinants and the effects of transparency? And is transparency always beneficial, or can it also be detrimental (if so, when)? The chapters are presented in three sections that correspond to three broad themes. The first section addresses transparency in different areas of economic policy. The second section covers institutional transparency and explores the role of transparency in market integration and regulation. Finally, the third section focuses on corporate transparency. Taken together, this volume offers an up-to-date account of existing work on and approaches to transparency in economic research, discusses open questions, and provides guidance for future research, all from a blend of disciplinary perspectives.

Freedom of Religion Under Bills of Rights

Freedom of Religion Under Bills of Rights

"The Australian Constitution contains no guarantee of freedom of religion or freedom of conscience. Indeed, it contains very few provisions dealing with rights — in essence, it is a Constitution that confines itself mainly to prescribing a framework for federal government, setting out the various powers of government and limiting them as between federal and state governments and the three branches of government without attempting to define the rights of citizens except in minor respects. […] Whether Australia should have a national bill of rights has been a controversial issue for quite some time. This is despite the fact that Australia has acceded to the ICCPR, as well as the First Optional Protocol to the ICCPR, thereby accepting an international obligation to bring Australian law into line with the ICCPR, an obligation that Australia has not discharged. Australia is the only country in the Western world without a national bill of rights.4 The chapters that follow in this book debate the situation in Australia and in various other Western jurisdictions.' From Foreword by The Hon Sir Anthony Mason AC KBE: Human Rights and Courts