47 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2009 Last revised: 14 Sep 2017
Date Written: 2009
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.
Keywords: Constitutional Amendment, Constitutional Democracy, Constitutional Law, Comparative Constitutional Law, Sovereignty, Legitimacy, Statehood, Canada, Germany, India, South Africa, United States
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