Engineering Constitutional Change: A Comparative Perspective on Europe, Canada and the USA

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Xenophon Contiades
Routledge, Dec 20, 2012 - Law - 488 pages

This volume provides a holistic presentation of the reality of constitutional change in 18 countries (the 15 old EU member states, Canada, Switzerland and the USA). The essays offer analysis on formal and informal constitutional amendment bringing forth the overall picture of the parallel paths constitutional change follows, in correlation to what the constitution means and how constitutional law works. To capture the patterns of constitutional change, multi-faceted parameters are explored such as the interrelations between form of government, party system, and constitutional amendment; the interplay between constitutional change and the system of constitutionality review; the role of the people, civil society, and experts in constitutional change; and the influence of international and European law and jurisprudence on constitutional reform and evolution. In the extensive final, comparative chapter, key features of each country’s amendment procedures are epitomized and the mechanisms of constitutional change are explained on the basis of introducing five distinct models of constitutional change. The concept of constitutional rigidity is re-approached and broken down to a set of factual and institutional rigidities. The classification of countries within models, in accordance with the way in which operative amending mechanisms connect, leads to a succinct portrayal of different modes of constitutional change engineering.

This book will prove to be an invaluable tool for approaching constitutional revision either for theoretical or for practical purposes and will be of particular interest to students and scholars of constitutional, comparative and public law.

 

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Contents

Constitutional change engineering
1
Constitutional change in Austria
7
The process of constitutional amendment in Belgium
35
Constitutional change and constitutional amendment
51
Formal and informal methods of constitutional change in Denmark
73
Constitutional amendment in Finland
93
Constitutional amendment in France
115
Constitutional amendments and constitutional changes in Germany
125
The constitutional revision process in the Netherlands Sensible security valve or cause of constitutional paralysis?
257
The Portuguese Constitution of 1976 Halflife and decay
273
Constitutional change in Spain
299
Constitutional amendment in Sweden
325
Constitutional revision The case of Switzerland
337
Constitutional amendment in the United Kingdom
359
Constitutional revision in the United States of America
389
Models of constitutional change
417

Constitutional change in Greece
151
Constitutional amendment in Ireland
179
Constitutional revision in Italy
203
Constitutional amendment in Luxembourg
229
Appendix
469
Index
471
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Xenophon Contiades is Professor of Public Law and Dean, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Peloponnese, Director of the Centre for European Constitutional Law (Athens-Greece), and member of the Scientific Council of the Institute for European Constitutional Sciences (Hagen-Germany).

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