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Vol 23 No 3 March/April 2018

Book of the Month

Cover of Scamell and Gasztowicz on Land Covenants

Scamell and Gasztowicz on Land Covenants

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Interpreting Constitutions: A Comparative Study

Edited by: Jeffrey Goldsworthy

ISBN13: 9780199274130
ISBN: 0199274134
Published: February 2006
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £96.00
Paperback edition , ISBN13 9780199226474

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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 6 major jurisdictions: Australia, Canada, Germany, India, South Africa, United States
  • Contributions from leading authorities from each jurisdction, covering different interpretative approaches, including textualism, purposivism, structuralism and originalism
  • Comparative reference to different social, historical, institutional and political circumstances sets analysis in context

Constitutional and Administrative Law
1. Introduction
2. Mark Tushnet: United States: Eclecticism In the Service of Pragmatism
3. Peter Hogg: Canada: From Privy Council to Supreme Court
4. Jeffrey Goldsworthy: Australia: Devotion to Legalism
5. Donald Kommers: Germany: Balancing Rights and Duties
6. S.P. Sathe: India: From Positivism to Structuralism
7. Heinz Klug: South Africa: From Constitutional Promise to Social Transformation
8. Conclusions