Event: How Constitutions Change: Some Surprising Findings

UCL’s Institute for Global Law / IUS Commune Lecture Series presents

How Constitutions Change:
Some Surprising Findings 

on Tuesday 21 February, from 1-2.30pm


Professor Carlo Fusaro, University of Florence

Professor Dawn Oliver, UCL

A sandwich lunch will be provided

Please RSVP at:



About this talk:

Professor Dawn Oliver of UCL and Professor Carlo Fusaro of the University of Florence recently completed a project in which they compared the ways in which fourteen broadly liberal constitutions, and the EU ‘constitution’, change. The results are published in How Constitutions Change (Hart Publishing, 2011).

Constitutional change can come about in a surprisingly wide range of ways: not only as a result of formal constitutional amendment procedures such as special majorities in the Parliament or referendums, but as a result of changes in the standing orders of parliaments, decisions by the courts, some of which have been rather revolutionary, changes in conventions or governmental praxis, informal agreements between constitutional bodies, or in the form of soft law – codes, guidance, protocols. Lessons can be taken from this project as to the conditions in which constitutional change can or cannot take place and the implications if the political culture in a country makes formal change impossible.