Notes on Democracy and Constitution-Making
New Zealand Journal of Public and International Law, Vol. 9, No. 1, 2011
18 Pages Posted: 13 May 2011 Last revised: 6 Apr 2015
Date Written: May 12, 2011
This article explores the relationship between democracy and constitution-making. It begins by advancing the view that constitution-making, given its episodical nature, makes possible the use of certain procedures and mechanisms that cannot be generally used in the context of daily governance, even though they appear to have a strong democratic pedigree. After establishing the general approach to democracy and constitution-making in which the article rests, the author examines the legal and political practices that make the act of creating a new constitution consistent with basic democratic principles. In so doing, it develops a set of criteria that must be met for a constitution-making episode to be considered democratic.
Keywords: democracy, constitution-making, popular participation, constituent assemblies
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