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All nation states, whether ancient or newly created, must examine their constitutional fundamentals to keep their constitutions relevant and dynamic. Constitutional change has greater legitimacy when the questions are debated before the people and accepted by them. Who are the peoples in this state? What role should they have in relation to the government? What rights should they have? Who should be Head of State? What is our constitutional relationship with other nation states? What is the influence of international law on our domestic system? What process should constitutional change follow? In this volume, scholars, practitioners, politicians, public officials, and young people explore these questions and others in relation to the New Zealand constitution and provide some thought-provoking answers. This book is recommended for anyone seeking insight into how a former British colony with bicultural foundations is making the transition to a multicultural society in an increasingly complex and globalised world.
There is a unique constitutional relationship between Aboriginal people and the Canadian state - a relationship that does not exist between other Canadians and the state. It's from this central premise that Patrick Macklem builds his argument in this outstanding and significant work. Why does this special relationship exist? What does it entail in terms of Canadian constitutional order? There are, Macklem argues, four complex social facts that lie at the heart of the relationship. First, Aboriginal people belong to distinctive cultures that were and continue to be threatened by non-Aboriginal beliefs, philosophies, and ways of life. Second, prior to European contact, Aboriginal people lived in and occupied North America. Third, prior to European contact, Aboriginal people not only occupied North America; they exercised sovereign authority over persons and territory. Fourth, Aboriginal people participated in and continue to participate in a treaty process with the Crown. Together, these four social conditions are exclusive to the Aboriginal people of North America and constitute what Macklem refers to as indigenous difference. Exploring the constitutional significance of indigenous difference in light of the challenges it poses to the ideal of equal citizenship, Macklem engages an interdisciplinary methodology that treats constitutional law as an enterprise that actively distributes power, primarily in the form of rights and jurisdiction, among a variety of legal actors, including individuals, groups, institutions, and governments. On this account, constitutional law refers to an ongoing project of aspiring to distributive justice, disciplined but not determined by text, structure, or precedent. Far from threatening equality, constitutional protection of indigenous difference promotes equal and therefore just distributions of constitutional power. The book details constitutional rights to Aboriginal people that protect interests associated with culture, territory, sovereignty, and the treaty process, and explores the circumstances in which these rights can be interfered with by the Canadian state. It also examines the relation between these rights and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Feedoms, and proposes extensive reform of existing treaty processes in order to protect and promote their exercise. Macklem's book offers a challenge to traditional understandings of the constitutional status of indigenous peoples, relevant not only to Canadian debates but also to those in other parts of the world where indigenous peoples are asserting greater autonomy over their collective futures.
Thomas Jefferson proposed that we revise the Constitution every so often, not just to reflect the changing times but to revive and perpetuate our original revolutionary spirit. Could it be that the Constitution itself is part of the reason that our democracy is on life support, our government gone haywire? To find out, Christopher Phillips, originator of the Socrates Cafâe dialogues, sets off on a cross-country junket to engage Americans of all stripes in an offbeat constitutional convention. Given the opportunity to rewrite the Constitution, a diverse bunch--from Burning Man die-hards to army veterans, Tea Party acolytes to Orange County slackers--weighs in with some really wild and worthwhile ideas about how our nation should be governed. With Jefferson as his iconoclastic and visionary guide, Phillips moderates these discussions and complements his participants' ideas by relating them to Jefferson's own experiences with governance and to his great expectations for our democracy.--From publisher description.
The book contains 24 contributions from European law scholars and practitioners analysing the constitutional basis of the European Union and the normative orientation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) as well as the central economic and monetary provisions (TFEU) after the Reform Treaty of Lisbon. Presenting the findings of a European research team, which is composed of authors from eight Member States, the publication underlines the aspiration of the editors to thoroughly analyse the constitutional law of the European Union currently in force.
This book commemorates the bicentenary of the landmark Spanish Constitution of 1812. Drafted by Spanish and colonial Spanish American liberals (and non-liberals) holed up in Cadiz as Napoleon’s troops occupied the surrounding hills, this war-time Constitution set out radically to redefine ‘the Spanish nation’ for a new age. In the event, it divided Spaniards and threw into sharp relief the question of Spain’s legitimacy in her American colonies. Cadiz 1812 is a defining moment in the modern history of the Spanish-speaking world. Bringing together specialists in the history, politics and culture of Spain and Latin America (the Cadiz text was a cultural and ethnic document as much as a politico-legal one), this volume represents the only large-scale commemoration in the UK of one of the world’s first liberal constitutional tracts. The point of the book, however, as of the conference and accompanying exhibition on which it is based, is not solely to reflect on the significance and repercussions of Cadiz 1812 on both sides of the Hispanic Atlantic at the time. The book also considers later interpretations of Cadiz 1812 and examines, in addition, other constitutions in the Spanish-speaking world beyond 1812. Subjects treated include: Spain’s crisis of absolutism; the Inquisition before the Constitution; liberalism and Catholicism; discourses of the 1812 Constitution; the question of sovereignty; political theatre during the Napoleonic invasion; Goya; the Spanish crisis in the British press; Lord Holland and Blanco White; Pérez Galdós’s Cádiz; futuristic literary representations of Spain’s nineteenth-century crisis; political and philosophical echoes in Latin America in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries – in Cúcuta, Mexico, Argentina and Cuba; and, finally, politico-philosophical echoes in Spain – in the Liberal Triennium, in the mid-nineteenth century, in the Spanish Second Republic, in 1978, and in 2011 in the midst of the financial (but it is also a constitutional) crisis. The volume includes a specially-conducted interview with Spanish politician Alfonso Guerra, one of the figures behind the Spanish Constitution of 1978.

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