Blog of the International Journal of Constitutional Law

Invitation to Friends of I-CONnect: Dissertation Defense on Informal Constitutional Change

Richard Albert, Boston College Law School

Friends of I-CONnect are invited to Leiden University Law School for the dissertation defense of Reijer Passchier, a frequent contributor to I-CONnect. The dissertation supervisor is Professor Dr. Wim Voermans.

The defense will be held on November 9, 2017, at 13h45 in the Groot Auditorum at Leiden University.

Passchier’s dissertation is entitled “Informal Constitutional Change: Constitutional Change without Formal Constitutional Amendment in Comparative Perspective.” Here is his abstract and the questions he examines:

Today, virtually every country in the world has a written constitution that contains a special amendment procedure. These procedures are designed to regulate constitutional change. However, formal constitutional amendment is not the only way in which constitutional norms change, and in some systems not even the most important. To the contrary, it appears to be more common for constitutional norms to adjust to changing circumstances and demands through alternative, ‘informal’ processes of change.

How should we understand and identify constitutional change that takes place without (prior) formal constitutional amendment? Why do significant constitutional developments sometimes occur without new constitutional writing? And are alternative mechanisms of constitutional change capable of functionally substituting formal constitutional amendment mechanisms?

More information is available here. All are welcome for this special program.


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