Constitutional Chrononomy

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Every constitution defines and is defined by a period in time. Like all law the creation and application of constitutions require reference to the past and future respectively. Every instance of constitution-making is an attempt to control behavior over an extended period of time. Therefore constitutions will be drafted, both in style and substance, to reflect that temporal ambition. The effectiveness of a constitution also requires that its interpretation makes reference to the understanding of its rules held by the constitution-makers. As a result, and notwithstanding the efforts to make it suitable over a long period by its creators, every constitution is bound to become unsuitable. Courts employ a number of devices to cope with the inevitable obsolescence of constitutions but, sooner or later, every constitution will have to be discarded and a new constitutional era begun.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Connecticut, School of Law, 65 Elizabeth Street, Hartford, CT 06105, USA

Publication date: March 1, 2000

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