Athens and America: Constitution Making as an Act of Democratic Justice

Tulane Public Law Research Paper No. 07-13

JUSTICE IN PARTICULAR: FESTSCHRIFT IN HONOUR OF PROFESSOR P.J. KOZYRIS, pp. 521-54, Ant. N. Sakkoulas Publishers, Athens, 2007

26 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2007  

Keith Werhan

Tulane University - Law School

Abstract

This essay compares the democratic quality of two constitutional moments that were central turning points in two of the most influential democracies in recorded history - the re-codification of Athenian law in 403-399 BCE and the drafting and ratification of the United States Constitution in 1787-1788. Judged in the context of their time and place, the processes of constitution making in both polities were impressively democratic. They were strikingly similar as well. This essay highlights those similarities, as well as an irony: Athens and America may have perfected a democratic process of constitution making in the service of a shared commitment to moderate their democracies.

Keywords: Constitutional Law, Comparative Law, Comparative Constitutional Law

Suggested Citation

Werhan, Keith, Athens and America: Constitution Making as an Act of Democratic Justice. Tulane Public Law Research Paper No. 07-13; JUSTICE IN PARTICULAR: FESTSCHRIFT IN HONOUR OF PROFESSOR P.J. KOZYRIS, pp. 521-54, Ant. N. Sakkoulas Publishers, Athens, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1067023

Keith M. Werhan (Contact Author)

Tulane University - Law School ( email )

6329 Freret Street
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States
504-865-5933 (Phone)

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