Introduction to the IALS Conference on Comparative Constitutional Law
27 Pages Posted: 22 Jul 2012 Last revised: 9 Sep 2012
Date Written: 2010
The thirteen essays here contributed speak to the potential benefits of transplant and the phenomenon of transformation, as well as the prospects of convergence, in distinct and diverse voices. The legal systems considered include those of Canada, France, India, Italy, Malaysia, South Africa, Turkey and the United States. They range across common and civil law systems and along a broad spectrum of developed and emerging market economies. In the illustration of transplants and their ramifications, the authors address areas of scholarly legal inquiry such as judicial review, constitutionalism, human rights, intersectionality, and legal education. The authors probe historical and contemporary developments to address current challenges that include: (i) providing water in South Africa to sustain human dignity in an impoverished community, (ii) the implications of allowing or prohibiting the wearing of a veil in the context of public education in France and Turkey (and more broadly relative to Canada, the interfaces of women's rights, the observance of cultural and religious traditions, and family law), (iii) the establishment of judicial review in a post-conflict environment (drawing on Italy's post World War II experience), (iv) the transformation of European civil law systems, as well as that of the European Union itself, by virtue of their exposure to the European Union's common law jurisdictions (notably the law of England and Wales), (v) the revolution in English law associated with the injection of European Community and European human rights components into it, (vi) the role of constitutional anchors in India for state intervention to lift significant portions of society from poverty, and (vii) attention to foreign constitutional models in the systems of legal education in Malaysia and South Africa as well as in South Africa's vibrant constitutional jurisprudence.
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