The Constitution of the Netherlands at 200: Adaptive Capacity and Constitutional Rigidity

20 Pages Posted: 23 May 2015 Last revised: 2 Jul 2015

See all articles by Reijer Passchier

Reijer Passchier

Leiden University - Leiden Law School

Date Written: July 1, 2015

Abstract

Amazingly, the Constitution of the Kingdom of the Netherlands has endured for more than 200 years now. It has provided the foundation for one of the most stable constitutional democracies in the world.Surely a constitution cannot endure for two centuries if it would not have included sufficient means of reform.

In this paper I ask: How has the Constitution of the Netherlands been adapted as circumstances and demands changed? And what lessons might be relevant for countries facing similar challenges and undergoing constitutional transition in contemporary times? These questions are extremely relevant since, besides drafting a constitution, constitutional change is one of the most difficult challenges facing a constitutional democracy.

Keywords: constitution, constitution-making, constitutional endurance, constitutional transition, constitutional democracy, constitutional change, silent constitutional change, poldermodel

Suggested Citation

Passchier, Reijer, The Constitution of the Netherlands at 200: Adaptive Capacity and Constitutional Rigidity (July 1, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2608435 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2608435

Reijer Passchier (Contact Author)

Leiden University - Leiden Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 9520
2300 RA Leiden, NL-2300RA
Netherlands

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