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Vol 21 No 10 Oct/Nov 2016

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Interpreting Constitutions: A Comparative Study


ISBN13: 9780199226474
Published: May 2007
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback (Hardback in 2006)
Price: £30.49
Hardback edition , ISBN13 9780199274130



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This book describes the constitutions of six major federations and how they have been interpreted by their highest courts, compares the interpretive methods and underlying principles that have guided the courts, and explores the reasons for major differences between these methods and principles.

Among the interpretive methods discussed are textualism, purposivism, structuralism and originalism. Each of the six federations is the subject of a separate chapter written by a leading authority in the field: Jeffrey Goldsworthy (Australia), Peter Hogg (Canada), Donald Kommers (Germany), S.P. Sathe (India), Heinz Klug (South Africa), and Mark Tushnet (United States). Each chapter describes not only the interpretive methodology currently used by the courts, but the evolution of that methodology since the constitution was first enacted. The book also includes a concluding chapter which compares these methodologies, and attempts to explain variations by reference to different social, historical, institutional and political circumstances.

  • International comparative approach to federal constitutional jurisprudence, looking at six major jurisdictions: Australia, Canada, Germany, India, South Africa, United States
  • Contributions from leading authorities from each jurisdiction, including Mark Tushnet (United State); Peter Hogg (Canada); Jeffrey Goldsworthy (Australia); Donald Kommers (Germany); S. P. Sathe (India) and Heinz Klug (South Africa)
  • Examines the use different interpretative approaches in practice, including textualism, purposivism, structuralism and originalism
  • Comparative reference to different social, historical, institutional and political circumstances sets the legal analysis in its broader context

Subjects:
Constitutional and Administrative Law
Contents:
1. Introduction
2. United States: Eclecticism In the Service of Pragmatism
3. Canada: From Privy Council to Supreme Court
4. Australia: Devotion to Legalism
5. Germany: Balancing Rights and Duties
6. India: From Positivism to Structuralism
7. South Africa: From Constitutional Promise to Social Transformation
8. Conclusions