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Nonconstitutional Amendments

Richard Albert

Boston College - Law School; Yale University - Law School


Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, Vol. 22, No. 1, 2009
Boston College Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 187

The constitutional text in a constitutional democracy does not necessarily constrain constitutional change. Quite the contrary, constitutional change in a constitutional democracy often occurs in ways that depart from the rigid procedures governing constitutional amendment enshrined in the text of the constitution. In this article, I illuminate this peculiar phenomenon in comparative perspective, drawing from the constitutional traditions of Canada, Germany, India, South Africa and the United States. In addition to illuminating distinctions in the amendment practices of liberal democratic constitutional states, I deploy those contrasts as a springboard to substantive insights about fundamental principles of statehood, namely sovereignty and legitimacy.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 47

Keywords: Constitutional Amendment, Constitutional Democracy, Constitutional Law, Comparative Constitutional Law, Sovereignty, Legitimacy, Statehood, Canada, Germany, India, South Africa, United States

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Date posted: June 25, 2009 ; Last revised: February 8, 2010

Suggested Citation

Albert, Richard, Nonconstitutional Amendments (2009). Canadian Journal of Law and Jurisprudence, Vol. 22, No. 1, 2009; Boston College Law School Legal Studies Research Paper No. 187. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1424058

Contact Information

Richard Albert (Contact Author)
Boston College - Law School ( email )
885 Centre Street
Boston, MA 02459-1163
United States
617.552.3930 (Phone)
HOME PAGE: http://www.richardalbert.com

Yale University - Law School ( email )
P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.richardalbert.com

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