Skip to site navigation

Video: James Melton - Exploring Constitute: A New Tool for Searching National Constitutions

22 January 2014

Approximately 5 constitutions are replaced and 30 are amended each year. This year has already witnessed new constitutions in Fiji and Zimbabwe and constitutional amendments in Brazil, Colombia, the Czech Republic, Georgia, Hungary, Mexico, Switzerland and Tonga. Despite the high frequency of constitutional change, constitutional drafters often lack systematic information on the contents of other countries’ constitutions that could help them decide what topics should be addressed in their constitution and how to address those topics. Constitute addresses this problem by putting searchable copies of the world’s constitutions online. However, Constitute is more than just a repository of constitutional texts. The project draws on data collected by the Comparative Constitutions Project over the last 8 years to assign topic tags to provisions within constitutions. This allows powerful, topic-based searches of those texts. There are more than 300 topics for users to choose from on the site, and for those interested in regional or temporal trends in constitution-making, the search results can be filtered by country and year.

Dr James Melton is a Lecturer in British and Comparative Politics at the Constitution Unit in the School of Public Policy. His expertise in cross-national constitution making strengthens the comparative aspect of the Constitution Unit’s research. James uses this expertise to understand the effect of constitutional text on economic, political, and social development. He contributes a regular column to the Monitor on “Worldwide Constitutional Developments” and feeds into the comparative dimensions of the Unit's research projects. James's interest in comparative constitutional design stems from his involvement with the Comparative Constitutions Project (CCP). The CCP is an effort to investigate the sources and consequences of constitutional choices.

Related Links

Join the Debate

Blog

News

Scotland’s constitutional future – from both sides in the debate

Mon, 25 Aug 2014 10:00:03 +0000

Charlie Jeffery discusses how both sides in the debate see Scotland’s constitutional future in different ways. It is striking how insular Scotland’s constitutional debate is. Both sides in the debate see Scotland’s constitutional future in different ways as bound up firmly in relationships with the rest of the UK. The Yes side envisages a form […]

Read more...

The ‘Revolving Door’ of Special Advisers?

Wed, 20 Aug 2014 15:24:25 +0000

A recent article in the Telegraph was critical of a ‘revolving door’ of special advisers (spads) from the last Labour government into charities or think tanks. As outlined in the forthcoming book on spads by Ben Yong and Robert Hazell, this blog post wishes to point out that the Telegraph article tells only an incomplete story;[1] […]

Read more...

Will the Scottish referendum produce ‘a decisive and respected outcome’?

Mon, 18 Aug 2014 10:00:34 +0000

With exactly one month to go until the referendum in Scotland, Barry K Winetrobe challenges the assumption that the outcome will resolve the independence debate. He explores scenarios where even a Yes vote might not (or perhaps even should not) produce an independent state. As the Scottish independence referendum campaign reaches its final days, it […]

Read more...
Mailing List

Connect with us

RSSFlickr

Footer menu