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The Constitutionalism and Politics Interdisciplinary Working Group

has the pleasure to invite you to the book launch:

Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments: the Limits of Amendment Power  (Oxford University Press, 2017)


Yaniv Roznai

(Assistant Professor, Radzyner Law School Interdisciplinary Center, Israel)

Monday, 6 March 2017 – 3:00-5:00pm, Sala del Camino, Villa Salviati, Via Bolognese 156, 50139 Firenze

The event will be chaired by: Prof. Gábor Halmai and PhD candidate Bartosz Marcinak

“Can constitutional amendments be unconstitutional? The problem of ‘unconstitutional constitutional amendments’ has become one of the most widely debated issues in comparative constitutional theory, constitutional design, and constitutional adjudication. This book describes and analyses the increasing tendency in global constitutionalism to substantively limit formal changes to constitutions. The challenges of constitutional unamendability to constitutional theory become even more complex when constitutional courts enforce such limitations through substantive judicial review of amendments, often resulting in the declaration that these constitutional amendments are ‘unconstitutional’. Combining historical comparisons, constitutional theory, and a wide comparative study, Yaniv Roznai sets out to explain what the nature of amendment power is, what its limitations are, and what the role of constitutional courts is and should be when enforcing limitations on constitutional amendments.”

with the intervention of Tarik Olcay  (PhD candidate in Law, University of Glasgow) who will also present the paper: The Organic Justification for Constitutional Unamendability

“The organic justification is the most common justification offered for constitutional unamendability both by constitutional theorists and courts. It holds that in pursuance of preserving the internal harmony of state constitutions, unamendability of the underlying principles of every constitution is justified (or required), regardless of the substantive content of those principles. This paper argues that the organic justification should be rejected. The paper explains the concept of the organic justification in its different manifestations by looking at Carl Schmitt’s positive concept of the constitution and distinction between the constitution and constitutional laws, and the notions of ‘the material constitution’, ‘pouvoir constituant dérivé’ and ‘constitutional identity’. It then shows how the courts use the organic justification in reviewing constitutional amendments. The paper consequently demonstrates the inherent weakness of the organic justification, by pointing out the sui generis comprehensive nature of state constitutions, the difficulty in identifying the constitutional core, and the questionable democratic character of the constituent power.”

To receive the materials on which the disscussions will be based, please write to [email protected]

We hope to see you there! 


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