Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Category: David Fontana

  • Comparative Originalism

    Thank you to Tom for noting my book review! I did want to add one thing: The issue of how the courts of other countries interpret their constitutions is relatively understudied. There is a good book with single-country studies from 2007 edited by Jeffrey Goldsworthy (Monash University, Australia).

  • Book review of Making Our Democracy Work

    Our colleague David Fontana of George Washington University has a book review of Justice Stephen Breyer’s new book here. An excerpt: “It is hard to understand Breyer’s approach to the Constitution without first considering the alternative that he is responding to, conventionally called originalism.

  • Political Parties and Comparative Constitutional Law

    Another thought inspired by reading the Constitution of Morocco: Bruce Ackerman and others have written in the American context of how our Constitution says nothing about political parties, and the problems that has caused. Even given this, though, reading other constitutions is always enlightening because of the substantial attention it shines on just how much other constitutions talk about organizations beyond just the state, and how important these organizations are to these other constitutions.

  • Summer Travel and Comparative Constitutional Law

    When they travel on vacation during the summer, people bring all sorts of things with them—-usually interesting things. They might pack a novel they have long wanted to read. Perhaps, as one of my friends now does, they bring materials with them to help them write a screenplay they have long wanted to compose.

  • Recent Scholarship on Comparative Constitutional Law

    Four recent papers, each one excellent, merit the attention of readers with an interest in comparative constitutional law. The first, Studying Japanese Law Because It’s There, is an essay by Tom Ginsburg, my colleague here at the Comparative Constitutions Blog. Recently published in the American Journal of Comparative Law, this very important paper states in compelling fashion the case for the intrinsic scholarly benefits, as opposed to the purely practical applications, of the comparative enterprise.

  • The Spread of the Jury Trial

    David Law’s excellent post (if you liked that, you should read his great article on Japan, employing a relatively new, interview-based strategy for studying comparative constitutional law, an article which Ran Hirschl also referenced) reminded me to draw attention to a new article on the spread of the jury trial around the world.

  • Approaches to Constitutional Change

    One of the beautiful things about this blog is that I get to note new articles about topics like constitutional change in in Tonga: The Constitution of Tonga, 132 years old in 2007 — indeed one of the world’s oldest extant constitutions — has recently, for the first time in history, been subjected to significant scrutiny by the people who live under it.