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This subject explores comparative constitutional law from a deliberately global perspective. It seeks to take account of the constitutional experience of all regions of the world including Asia, the Americas, Europe, Africa and Australasia. It thus provides an excellent platform on which to evaluate the competing claims of constitutional universalism and particularism, to critically test the global relevance of a range of constitutional theories and practices and to understand how context and culture affect constitutional law in an age of globalisation. Key topics of general relevance chosen for the purposes of comparison include executive/legislative relations, judicial review, constitutional change, socio-economic rights and the relationship between domestic constitutional and international law. The lecturers are leading constitutional scholars from India and Australia respectively, who bring to the subject different bodies of knowledge and experience.
Principal topics include:
- Mapping the constitutions of the world
- Methodological challenges in comparative constitutional law
- Concepts of a constitution
- Executive/legislative relations
- Courts and judicial review
- Socio-economic rights
- Constitutional change
- Comparative constitutional problem-solving.
Intended learning outcomes
A student who has successfully completed this subject will:
- Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the range of constitutional systems of the world and of the implications of globalization for the similarities and differences of constitutional arrangements
- In particular, have an advanced understanding of the range of constitutional systems within Asia, their similarities and differences and points of comparison with other regions of the world
- Have an advanced and integrated understanding of the challenges of comparative constitutional law and the methodological options for dealing with them
- Be able to plan and undertake comparative constitutional projects in at a sophisticated level
- Be able to critically examine, analyse, and evaluate the constitutional projects of others
- Be an engaged participant in debate on the competing claims of constitutional universalism and particularism
- Have a sophisticated appreciation of the comparative possibilities in relation to a range of key aspects of constitutional systems
- Have the cognitive and technical skills to generate critical and creative ideas relating [to equality and discrimination in the workplace], and to critically evaluate [existing legal theories, principles and concepts with creativity and autonomy]
- Have the cognitive and technical skills to independently engage in research on comparative constitutional law
- Have the communication skills to clearly articulate and convey complex information regarding comparative constitutional law to specialist and non-specialist audiences
- Be able demonstrate autonomy, expert judgment and responsibility as a scholar and practitioner of comparative constitutional law.
Last updated: 11 February 2021