Towards a global constitutional gene pool

Available in Russian

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Author: Cheryl Saunders

DOI: 10.21128/1812-7126-2016-6-99-122

Keywords: comparative constitutional law; comparative method; constitutional law; global constitutionalism; globalisation; internationalization; methodology in comparative projects; pluralism


This essay aims to develop the methodology of comparative constitutional law in a way that draws more comprehensively on world constitutional experience, thus maximising the possibilities of the discipline and of what might be considered to be a global constitutional gene pool. It proceeds in two stages. The first part identifies key methodological challenges for comparative constitutional law, drawing on the literature of comparative law, while taking account of the distinctive character of constitutional law. The challenges examined here are the dichotomy between similarity and difference; the approach to the task of comparison; taxonomy; the impact of culture; and pluralism. The second part of the argument considers the impact on comparative constitutional method of the conditions in which Constitutions operate in the early 21st century, including internationalisation, globalisation and advances in information technology. For a truly global discipline of comparative constitutional law, the methodology for comparison must apply effectively, and be recognised as having effective application, to constitutional arrangements in all parts of the world. In what follows, the author draws together some general propositions about method that take into account of the lessons of comparative law, the nature of constitutional law and the global context in which Constitutions operate at the beginning of this century. This part of the essay aims to show that, while there are considerable contemporary pressures for convergence, with implications for comparative method, other forces foster difference and pluralism, creating new methodological challenges. The essay is concluded with a series of propositions for the methodology of comparative constitutional law, as a platform for further research and dialogue.

About the author: Cheryl Saunders – Laureate Professor, University of Melbourne.

Citation: Saunders Ch. (2016) Na puti k global'nomu konstitutsionnomu genofondu [Towards a global constitutional gene pool]. Sravnitel'noe konstitutsionnoe obozrenie, no.6, pp.99–122. (In Russian).


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