Religion, Secularism and Limitations on Constitutional Amendment

Edward Elgar Research Handbook on Law & Religion (Rex Ahdar, editor, 2018 Forthcoming)

29 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2017

See all articles by Richard Albert

Richard Albert

University of Texas at Austin - School of Law; University of Texas at Austin - Department of Government; Universidad de Especialidades Espíritu Santo; Université Paris II - Panthéon-Assas; Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Derecho; São Paulo Law School of Fundação Getulio Vargas FGV DIREITO SP; Reichman University - Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliyah - Harry Radziner School of Law; University of Toronto - Faculty of Law; University of Ottawa - Faculty of Law; Airlangga University; Yale University; Maharashtra National Law University Mumbai

Yaniv Roznai

Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya - Radzyner School of Law

Date Written: November 12, 2017

Abstract

Constitutional designers often entrench religion and secularism against amendment. In this Chapter prepared for the Edward Elgar Research Handbook on Law and Religion, we explore the unamendability of religion and secularism in constitutions around the world. We begin, in Part I, with an overview of the formal unamendability of religion and secularism in codified constitutions. In Part II, we explore how religion and secularism in their unamendable forms have been interpreted; here we distinguish between formal unamendability entrenched in a codified constitution and informal unamendability that arises from judicial interpretation or political practice. We focus on the Constitutions of Canada, India, Iran and Turkey. Part III moves from the descriptive to the normative: we state the democratic objection to unamendability as well as the democratic defense of unamendability. We conclude with thoughts on the uses and misuses of unamendability, and its effectiveness in constraining political actors from exercising or refraining from exercising their delegated powers.

Keywords: Secularism, Theocracy, Constitutional Amendment, Constitutional Interpretation, Unamendable Constitutional Provision, Unamendability, Informal Amendment, Canada, Iran, Turkey, India, Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendment, Formal Amendment, Informal Amendment

Suggested Citation

Albert, Richard and Roznai, Yaniv, Religion, Secularism and Limitations on Constitutional Amendment (November 12, 2017). Edward Elgar Research Handbook on Law & Religion (Rex Ahdar, editor, 2018 Forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3069598

Richard Albert (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin - School of Law ( email )

727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
United States
512.213.1113 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://law.utexas.edu/faculty/richard-albert

University of Texas at Austin - Department of Government ( email )

College of Liberal Arts
1 University Station A1800
Austin, TX 78712
United States

Universidad de Especialidades Espíritu Santo ( email )

Facultad de Derecho
Av. Samborondón 5
Samborondón, 092301
Ecuador

HOME PAGE: http://uees.edu.ec/postgrado/postgrado-derecho

Université Paris II - Panthéon-Assas ( email )

12 place du Pantheon
Paris cedex 06, 75231
France

Universidad Externado de Colombia - Facultad de Derecho

Calle 12 # 1-17 este
Calle 12 0 83
Bogota D.C, Cundinamarca 3456
Colombia

HOME PAGE: http://www.uexternado.edu.co/derecho

São Paulo Law School of Fundação Getulio Vargas FGV DIREITO SP

R. Rocha, 233, Bela Vista
São Paulo, 01330-000
Brazil

HOME PAGE: http://direitosp.fgv.br

Reichman University - Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliyah - Harry Radziner School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 167
Herzliya, 46150
Israel

HOME PAGE: http://www.idc.ac.il/en/schools/law/pages/home.aspx

University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.utoronto.ca

University of Ottawa - Faculty of Law ( email )

57 Louis Pasteur Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1N 6N5
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://commonlaw.uottawa.ca

Airlangga University

Dharmawangsa Dalam Selatan
Surabaya, East Java 60286
Indonesia

HOME PAGE: http://www.unair.ac.id

Yale University

493 College St
New Haven, CT CT 06520
United States

Maharashtra National Law University Mumbai ( email )

2nd Floor, CETTM MTNL Building, Technology Street
Hiranandani Gardens, Powai, Mumbai 400076
Maharashtra
India

HOME PAGE: http://mnlumumbai.edu.in/vaf.php

Yaniv Roznai

Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya - Radzyner School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 167
Herzliya, 46150
Israel

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