constitutional change

The International Association of Constitutional Law (IACL) convenes a Research Group for the study of constitution-making and constitutional change from a comparative aspect. The group assembles constitutional scholars interested in the wide variety of issues stemming from constitutional design making throughout the world. The group aims toexplore the procedures used for the enactment of new constitutions and for formal constitutional amendment, as well as the substantive content of constitutional change, and to address issues of constitutional design.

Following the period between 1995 and 2003, where many new constitutions emerged, there is a newwave of constitution-making following the Arab Spring and the global financial crisis.  New challenges are set, ranging from new methods of democratic participation in constitution-making processes to the way in which transition to democracy is best achieved. The role of comparative approaches is revisited with regard to the importance of local culture in constitution-making, especially in setting up the basic rules of the polity.

The research of the group focuses on a set of issues entailing how deliberative bodies work, the role of experts and transnational influence, the use of new technology as consensus-building devises, how aged constitutions change, the influence exerted by the universalization of fundamental rights protection, what determines choice of constitutional provisions, post-conflict-settings, regime transitions,post-crises constitutional change, constitutional language and design of provisions, choices with regard to amending formulae, options regarding the choice of polity etc.

From the aspect of comparative constitutional theory different questions are equally crucial. Such questions entail the way in which differences between civil law and common law traditions affect modes of constitutional change, how volatility of the political system relates to constitution-making, the emergence of a tendency towardsless complex amending processes,the interaction of the role of the people, the role of political elites and judges in constitutional change, procedural and material limits to constitutional amendments, unconstitutional constitutional amendments and judicial review of amendments.

Aiming thus to address constitution-making both at the level of constitutional theory and at the level of the practical aspects of constitution-writing, the group welcomes both constitutional scholars and constitutional designers.

 Indicative Activities:

  • to monitor the development with regard to constitution-making and constitutional change in different countries and to set up a network for the exchange of information and analysis
  • to organize workshops in the countries where such developments take place and to participate in IACL conferences on those issues
  • to bring together, under the umbrella of the IACL, different institutions, networks and scholars who work on the issue
  • to benefit from the material presented to the aforementioned workshops and conferences to come up with the publication of reference volumes

Publications

  • Comparative Constitutional Change book series
    Series editor: Professor Xenophon Contiades, Centre for European Constitutional Law (CECL), Greece, Professor Thomas Fleiner, University of Freiburg, Switzerland and Dr Alkmene Fotiadou, Centre for European Constitutional Law (CECL), Greece
    Read more about this publication

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Current members of the group

  • Thomas Fleiner, Professor Emeritus of Public Law, University of Fribourg, Former President of the Executive Committee of the IACL
  • Cheryl Saunders, Laureate Professor, Melbourne Law School
  • Richard Albert, Professor of Constitutional Law, Boston College Law School
  • Anneli Albi, Professor of European Law, Law School, University of Kent
  • Nicholas Aroney, Professor of Constitutional Law, The University of Queensland Australia
  • Ringolds Balodis, Professor of Law, University of Latvia
  • Dr. Samo Bardutzky, Research Associate, University of Kent Law School
  • Abraham Barrero Ortega, Associate Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Seville
  • Omar Bendourou, Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Mohammed V at Souissi Morocco
  • Dr. Paul Blokker, University of Trento
  • Dr. Malik Boumediene, Maitre de conférences, University of Toulouse
  • Joshua Braver, J.D., Yale Law School
  • Xenophon Contiades, Professor of Public Law, University of Peloponnese, Director, Centre for European Constitutional Law
  • Ian Cram, Professor of Comparative Constitutional Law, University of Leeds
  • Jean-Philippe Derosier, Professor, Université de Rouen
  • Massimo Fichera, Post-Doctoral Researcher, University of Helsinki
  • Dr. Ilton N. Robl Filho, Academia Brasileira de Direito Constitucional
  • Michèle Finck, Doctoral Researcher, University of Oxford
  • Alkmene Fotiadou, Dr. iur, Centre for European Constitutional Law
  • Jörg Gerkrath, Professor, University of Luxembourg
  • Siri Gloppen, Professor, University of Bergen
  • Jurgen Goossens, Ph.D. Researcher, Public Law Department, Ghent University
  • Tania Groppi, Professor of Public Law, University of Siena
  • Irene Sobrino Guijarro, Assistant Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Seville
  • Eirik Holmøyvik, Associate Professor of Law, University of Bergen
  • Claudia Josi, Adjunct Professor, Santa Clara University School of Law
  • Helle Krunke, Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Copenhagen
  • Juha Lavapuro, Associate Professor of Public Law, University of Tampere
  • John F. McEldowney, Professor of Law, University of Warwick
  • Giorgi Meladze, Center for Constitutional Research, Ilia State University
  • David Gwynn Morgan, Distinguished Professor of Law at Kuwait International Law School
  • Maria Mousmouti, Dr. iur., Centre for European Constitutional Law
  • Christina Murray, Professor of Constitutional and Human Rights Law, University of Cape Town
  • Anna Mutanen, Researcher, LL.D., M.Sc. (Admin.), University of Helsinki
  • Tuomas Ojanen, Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Helsinki
  • Gianluca P. Parolin, Assistant Professor, The American University in Cairo
  • Janis Pleps, Lecturer of Law, University of Latvia
  • Agustín Ruiz Robledo, Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Granada
  • Angel Rodriguez, Professor of Constitutional Law, University of Malaga
  • Janne Salminen, University of Turku
  • Antoine Sfeir, Professor of Law, University of Lebanon
  • Ali Shirvani, PhD researcher, Xiamen University
  • Zoltán Szente, Professor of Law, National University of Public Service, Budapest
  • Ioannis Tassopoulos, Associate Professor of Public Law, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
  • Björg Thorarensen, Professor of Law, Faculty of Law, University of Iceland
  • Dario Tosi, Professor of Public Law, University of Valle D’ Aosta
  • Dr. Arta Vorpsi, Legal adviser at the Constitutional Court of Albania

Contact details

  • Prof Xenophon Contiades
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