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Australian & Comparative Constitutional Law: Global & Comparative Constitutional Law

This guide will help with your research in Australian, Global and Comparative Constitutional Law.

Comparative & Global Constitutional Law Journals, Articles and Reports

The Comparative Constitutions Project (open access) includes many articles (from 2006 to current) and reports (from 2005 to current) on global and comparative constitutional law.

The Global Review of Constitutional Law began in 2017 with the publication of the 2016 volume. It is an annual publication published by I-CONnect and the Clough Center for the Study of Constitutional Democracy. The 2016 volume includes coverage of 44 countries, and is available on SSRN (open access). 

Global and comparative constitutional law journal titles held by the Library (UniMelb staff & student access) include the following:

Comparing & Building Constitutions

The Comparative Constitutions Project collects data on the formal characteristics of written constitutions, both current and historical, for most independent states since 1789 to today, to inform research into the origins and consequences of constitutional law and the design of constitutions in developing and transitioning democracies. Its Constitute website (open access) includes:

  • links to every constitution in the world in English;
  • a fantastic 'compare' feature which allows Article by Article comparison, arranged by topic; 
  • Constitution Rankings - a comparative table of constitutional ranking statistics from every current constitution. Constitutions are ranked according to executive power, legislative power, judicial independence and rights; and 
  • Comparative Timelines of all constitutions.

 

The Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law (UniMelb staff & student access) contains analytical coverage of constitutional law topics in a comparative context, arranged alphabetically by topic. The encyclopedia articles provide analysis of key cases that have contributed to or advanced constitutional law concepts on a global scale, and key instruments in constitutional law history such as the Magna Carta, the Charter of Medina, and the Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam. The Encyclopedia can be browsed by subject and searched by keywords. It provides navigation between encyclopedia articles and commentaries and instruments from the Oxford Constitutions of the World and the Oxford Law Citator. 

 

The Political Database of the Americas - Constitutions and Constitutional Study (open access) "compares the constitutions of countries in the Americas with presidential regimes...it provides a set of constitutional articles in a comparative framework organized by over 200 substantive themes such as human rights, decentralization, separation of powers and electoral systems."

Books on Global & Comparative Constitutional Law

Constitutions of the world - finding up to date full text constitutional documents

The sites and databases listed below are all open access.

Warning - many of the sites & databases listed in this box may not include the current version of a country's constitution. If it is important that you refer to the current version, ensure you access constitutions from the individual countries' official government legislation websites. Also note that English translations will rarely be official.

WORLDWIDE

The University of Richmond's Constitution Finder links to the constitutions of every country. This database includes historical and current versions. All are available translated into English.

The Comparative Constitutions Project Constitute website includes links to every constitution in the world in English.

 Library of Congress Guide to Law Online (open access) provides links to full text constitutions on official government websites.

The Constitutional Documents pages of the International Constitutional Law site (hosted at the Institut für öffentliches Recht at the University of Bern) provides the texts of around 90 constitutions in English, together with constitutional background summaries and both historic and current versions of the constitutions and related documents.  

WorldLII by Country – click on the Constitutional law link under a specific country to access open access resources.

REGIONAL

Constitutions of EU member countries are collected at the European Constitutional Law Network's website (open access).

Holzinger, Katharina, Florian Kern, and Daniela Kromrey (2013) Database of the Constitutions of Sub-Saharan Africa (DCSSA) (open access).

The Political Database of the Americas - Constitutions and Constitutional Study (open access) contains the original and amended constitutions of the 35 nations of the Americas. The site also has a bibliography of reference materials on constitutional law in the Americas.

Constitutions of the World - Commentary

Warning - the databases listed in this box may not include the current version of a country's constitution. If it is important that you refer to the current version, ensure you access constitutions from the individual countries' official government legislation websites. Also note that English translations will rarely be official.

Oxford Constitutions of the World (UniMelb staff & student access)

This database contains regularly updated, fully-translated English-language versions of all of the world’s constitutions. The constitutions are accompanied by individual commentaries and supplementary materials, including foundation documents, historical constitutions, and amendment Acts/laws, and a collection of scholarly monographs.

The International Encyclopaedia of Laws: Constitutional Law (UniMelb staff & student access) 

The constitutions of over 40 countries are reproduced in full, and the Encyclopaedia is in the process of publishing all of the constitutions of the world in English translations. Sub-national Constitutions are also included for many countries such as Australia and the United States.

This encycopaedia presents a country-by-country survey of constitutional law throughout the world.  Each national monograph includes detailed information of the country’s political system, historical background, sources of constitutional law, form of government (outlining the legal status, the competence and the working of central state powers, etc.), citizenship (especially nationality and the legal position of aliens), and specific problems such as the power of the military and the constitutional relation between Church and State.

World Constitutions Illustrated on HeinOnline (UniMelb staff & student access)

This collection contains the current and historic versions of the constitutions of every country in the world in its original language and in English, as well as original source documents, scholarly articles, commentary, full text classic books, external websites, and select bibliographies of other constitutional books covering specific countries and regions as well as general constitutional topics.

Yale Law School Global Constitutionalism Seminar Publications

The annual Global Constitutionalism Seminar is a forum where some of the world’s foremost jurists discuss the most important legal issues of the day with leading academic lawyers. The Seminar brings together a small group of Supreme Court and Constitutional Court judges from around the world and Yale Law School faculty members. More on the Seminars.

Publications from the Seminars are available in full text on open access:

Judith Resnik (ed), Acts of State, Acts of God (Yale Global Constitutionalism 2016)

  • Chapter I: Sovereign Immunity of Foreign States and Their Officials
  • Chapter II: Prisons, Punishments, and Rights
  • Chapter III: Constitutional Emergencies
  • Chapter IV: Religious Accommodation and Equality
  • Chapter V: Blasphemy and Religious Speech

Judith Resnik (ed), The Reach of Rights (Global Constitutionalism 2015)

  • Chapter I: Migrants, Citizens, and Status
  • Chapter II: Constitutional Rights to State-Subsidized Services
  • Chapter III: The EU, the ECHR, Constitutional Pluralism, and
  • Chapter IV: Federations
  • Chapter V: Extraterritoriality and Human Rights
  • Chapter VI: Extraterritoriality, Privacy, and Surveillance

Judith Resnik (ed), Sources of Law and of Rights (Global Constitutionalism 2014)

Judith Resnik (ed), Government’s Authority (Global Constitutionalism 2013)

Judith Resnik (ed), Law's Borders (Global Constitutionalism 2012)

 

Melbourne Law School Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies

The Centre for Comparative Constitutional Studies at the Melbourne Law School, University of Melbourne (CCCS) undertakes and promotes research on the constitutional law and government of Australia and of other countries and provides a focal point for scholars and practitioners interested in these areas. The Centre seeks to focus greater attention on Australian constitutional law and government and of other countries whose systems are most relevant to Australia. This is reflected in the Centre's current objectives which it pursues through its many activities.

The Centre publishes a quarterly Newsletter.