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50 Wake Forest L. Rev. 859 (2015)
Constraining Constitutional Change

handle is hein.journals/wflr50 and id is 901 raw text is: 


                David Landau*  &  Rosalind Dixon

    Constitutions  are important  instruments  for promoting  and
entrenching  commitments   to  democracy.  But  all too frequently
constitutional  processes   are   used    to  promote    distinctly
antidemocratic ends  or to advance the cause of would-be autocrats
by  removing  democratic  checks and  balances on  the exercise of
political power.' This kind  of abusive constitutional action can
also involve changes to the text of a written constitution, either by
way  of formal constitutional amendment  or replacement, which are
often difficult to reverse.2 By amendment, political actors can, for
example,  extend term limits or undermine  institutions like courts.
Wholesale   constitutional replacement  may   be  a bigger  threat
because actors can take a variety of coordinated actions against the
political order.  Recent   examples   include  the   constitutional
replacement   by  the  Fidesz  party  in Hungary in 2011,3 the
Venezuelan  constitutional replacement  by Hugo  Chavez  in 1999,4
the  attempted  constitutional replacement  by Robert  Mugabe   in
Zimbabwe in 2000,5 and the replacement of the Ecuadorian

     * David Landau,  Mason  Ladd  Professor and Associate Dean for
International Programs, Florida State University College of Law.
    ** Rosalind Dixon, Professor of Law, University of New South Wales. The
authors would like to thank commentators at the Symposium on Constitution-
Making and Constitutional Design held at the Clough Center for the Study of
Democracy at Boston College Law School, the 2014 G+T Public Law Centre
Public Law Roundtable held at the University of New South Wales Faculty of
Law,  and the 2015  Annual Meeting of the American  Political Science
Association held in San Francisco, California.
    1. David Landau, Abusive Constitutionalism, 47 U.C. DAVIS L. REV. 189,
195-200 (2013).
    2. Id. at 200-08.
    3. See Mikl6s Bdnkuti et al., Hungary's Illiberal Turn: Disabling the
Constitution, J. DEMOCRACY, July 2012, at 138, 142.
    5. Lloyd Sachikonye, Constitutionalism, the Electoral System and
Challenges for Governance and Stability in Zimbabwe, 4 AFR. J. ON CONFLICT
RESOL., no.  2,  2004, at  171,  171-73; Masipula  Sithole, Fighting
Authoritarianism in Zimbabwe, J. DEMOCRACY, Jan. 2001, at 160, 160-63.


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