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Exploring Constitute: A New Tool for Searching National Constitutions

Constitution Unit

Wednesday, 11 December 2013 from 13:00 to 14:00 (GMT)

London, United Kingdom

Exploring Constitute:  A New Tool for Searching National...

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Event Details

Speaker: Dr James Melton

 

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.

 

At this seminar, James Melton will talk about the creation of the Constitute site and demonstrate its use.

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.

A light sandwich lunch will be available from 12.30pm


Related Links

Constitute project


Do you have questions about Exploring Constitute: A New Tool for Searching National Constitutions? Contact Constitution Unit

When & Where



Constitution Unit
30 Tavistock Square
London
WC1H

United Kingdom

Wednesday, 11 December 2013 from 13:00 to 14:00 (GMT)


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