Reflection of social movements and the drafting of new constitutions

Too often, an obligation to consult is assumed to be satisfied by public meetings in which members of the constitution-making body outline proposals for change and in which the audience plays a largely passive role. Statutes may be needed to establish other institutions, ranging from electoral commissions to the public service to the ombudsman to a human rights commission.

Increasingly, constitutions control the use of power as well, through institutional arrangements, by imposing finite limits, or by recognising the rights of individuals and, sometimes, groups.

In the South African case, for example, the Interim Constitution of set out the constitution making process, as well as the constitutional principles. In the process, individuals and groups will take sides, recognizing common interests and defining differences.

This is the practice whereby courts are sometimes called upon to review a law or some other official act of government e. That is, they hold office not because they were selected to do so by the democratic community, but because of a decision on the part of a President, a Prime Minister, a small group of fellow judges, or a judicial committee of Parliament.

Constitution Day Marks Good Time For Reflection

Acceptance in turn requires attention to be paid to the process by which constitutions are made, the style in which they are written and the manner in which they are publicly explained as well as to the constitutional institutions and principles through which prospects for peace are maximized.

In reconstituting law, constitutional reform movements play a role in the reconstitution 48 of existing social relations. They are also, more often than not, members of a dominant group e.

Their likely response would be to say: The structures of state constitutions, therefore, also influenced the drafting of the U. Almost twice the length of the previous version, it contained detailed prescriptive measures.

Approval The final stage in constitution making is an approval process, to give the constitution legal effect. Local bodies may not be in a position to evaluate the real expertise of international experts, in order to distinguish points on which they are advancing their own ideological position.

The object of constitutional interpretation should, to the greatest extent possible, remain fixed by factors like original public understandings or authorial intentions. As Locke might have said, unlimited sovereignty remains with the people who have the normative power to void the authority of their government or some part thereof if it exceeds its constitutional limitations.

In what follows, I argue that, at least in some respects, new approaches are needed to constitution making and some lateral thinking in constitutional design. While their content is important, for both of these reasons, their style and format require attention too.

Such a strategy is particularly important for approval by referendum. The choice to employ abstract moral terms e. To recognize such risks, however, is to go part way to overcoming or at least minimizing them.

Cornell University Press, ; Stephen L. Predetermination of the constitutional "agenda" in this way may manifest itself in various ways: Most written constitutions contain amending formulae which can be triggered by, and require the participation of, the government bodies whose powers they limit.

It continued the bill of rights and made no significant changes to the legislature. This is, arguably, the situation in New Zealand where the courts are forbidden from striking down legislation on the ground that it exceeds constitutional limits.

In the process of constitutional review, the text of the Constitution remains unchanged, yet the meaning of that text is reinterpreted by the federal courts, Congress, the president, or the people of the United States.

Where necessary, constitutions can mediate an agreed relationship between communities within a state. Constitutions can help to ensure the legitimacy of government in the eyes of the people; can underpin adherence to democracy and human rights, even in troubled times; can symbolize shared values while protecting diversity.

Once more, the South African process offers a positive illustration of how to proceed. Properly used, constitutions therefore can provide a foundation for an appropriate and accepted relationship between people individually and the authority of the state.

Often members are selected with an additional eye to representation of key communities or groups. The proffered solutions can vary considerably, depending on how hard-line the theorist tends to be.

Patterned largely after the Confederate Constitution, the Georgia Constitution of was the first state constitution to be submitted to the people for ratification.


Consensus is desirable, but affected by the familiar problems of lowest common denominator decisions and the potential for a small, extreme minority to frustrate the constitution-making process. Almost always, approval involves a democratic decision.State constitutions are best understood with reference to their historical roots.

A review of the history of Georgia's ten constitutions provides a synopsis of the political, economic, and social history of the state.

Social Movements, Law, and Society: The Institutionalization of the Environmental Movement

some effects of identity-based social movements on constitutional law in the twentieth century william n. eskridge, jr* table of contents i. constitutional arguments and strategies deployed by. Social movements increasingly utilize litigation strategies to pursue social change.

One can easily find examples of movement groups taking their claims making into the courts to demand equal. The Declaration of Independence the Declaration has been used to justify other political and social movements.

While the Declaration is an important historic document and incorporates many of. Unformatted text preview: the executive and judicial branches of the president also has the power to “appoint Judges of the supreme Court”. Congress also has an intersection with the judicial branch in Article 3, Section 2.

Participation of authoritarian incumbents in the drafting of the new constitutions leaves a huge imprint of the past on the new. In any negotiation process departing from authoritarian rule, incumbents strive to keep control over future political processes, which make the timing of .

Reflection of social movements and the drafting of new constitutions
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