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ConstitutionalismPast, Present, and Future$
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Dieter Grimm

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198766124

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198766124.001.0001

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The Function of Constitutions and Guidelines for Constitutional Reform

The Function of Constitutions and Guidelines for Constitutional Reform

(p.127) 5 The Function of Constitutions and Guidelines for Constitutional Reform

Dieter Grimm

Oxford University Press

This chapter tries to develop criteria for constitutional reform, derived from the function and the limits of constitutions. It deals in particular with the interaction and interdependence between constitutional law and political reality and identifies preconditions for the effectiveness of constitutions. Turning to reform, it shows that constitutional amendments are necessary to preserve the effectiveness of the constitution over time. The task of constitutional scholarship is therefore not to prevent constitutional amendments, but to distinguish between legitimate and illegitimate amendments.

Keywords:   constitutional reform, constitutional functions, constitutional limitations, political reality, effectiveness of the constitution

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