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Vol 24 No 12 Dec 19/Jan 20

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An Unamendable Constitution?: Unamendability in Constitutional Democracies

Edited by: Richard Albert, Bertil Emrah Oder

ISBN13: 9783319951409
Published: September 2018
Publisher: Springer-Verlag
Country of Publication: Switzerland
Format: Hardback
Price: £109.99

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This book examines the subject of constitutional unamendability from comparative, doctrinal, empirical, historical, political and theoretical perspectives. It explores and evaluates the legitimacy of unamendability in the various forms that exist in constitutional democracies.

Modern constitutionalism has given rise to a paradox: can a constitutional amendment be unconstitutional? Today it is normatively contested but descriptively undeniable that a constitutional amendment—one that respects the formal procedures of textual alteration laid down in the constitutional text—may be invalidated for violating either a written or unwritten constitutional norm. This phenomenon of an unconstitutional constitutional amendment traces its political foundations to France and the United States, its doctrinal origins to Germany, and it has migrated in some form to all corners of the democratic world. One can trace this paradox to the concept of constitutional unamendability. Constitutional unamendability can be understood as a formally entrenched provision(s) or an informally entrenched norm that prohibits an alteration or violation of that provision or norm. An unamendable constitutional provision is impervious to formal amendment, even with supermajority or even unanimous agreement from the political actors whose consent is required to alter the constitutional text. Whether or not it is enforced, and also by whom, this prohibition raises fundamental questions implicating sovereignty, legitimacy, democracy and the rule of law.

Constitutional and Administrative Law
Chapter 1. The Forms of Unamendability
Part I: The Legitimacy and Limits of Unamendability
Chapter 2. Necrocracy or Democracy? Assessing Objections to Constitutional Unamendability
Chapter 3. A Constitution for Eternity: An Economic Theory of Explicit Unamendability
Chapter 4. Conventions of Unamendability: Covert Constitutional Unamendability in (Two) Politically Enforced Constitutions
Chapter 5. Credible Commitment or Paternalism? The Case of Unamendability
Part II: Unamendability around the World
Chapter 6. Constitutional Falsehoods: The Fourth Judges Case and the Basic Structure Doctrine in India
Chapter 7. Unamendability in Israel: A Critical Perspective
Chapter 8. Eternal Provisions in the Bangladeshi Constitution: A "Constitution Once and For All"?
Chapter 9. Unamendability as a judicial discovery? Inductive learning lessons from Hungary
Chapter 10. Amending the Unamendable: The Case of Article 20 of the German Basic Law
Chapter 11. Debating Unamendability: Deadlock in Turkey's Constitution-Making Process
Chapter 12. The Unamendability of Amendable Clauses: The Case of the Turkish Constitution
Chapter 13. Brazil in the Context of the Debate Over Unamendability in Latin America
Chapter 14. Unamendable Constitutional Provisions and the European Common Constitutional Heritage: A Comparison Among Three Waves of Constitutionalism.