UK Constitutional Law Association

affiliated to the International Association of Constitutional Law

News: New Comparative Constitutional Law Resource

constituteAn important new resource for those interested in constitutions is now freely available online.  Constitute is a website that contains the constitutional texts of just about all modern states.  They can be searched by country or topic.

The front page of the site tells us:

Constitute allows you to interact with the world’s constitutions in a few different ways.

  • Quickly find relevant passages. The Comparative Constitutions Project has tagged passages of each constitution with a topic — e.g., “right to privacy” or “equality regardless of gender” — so you can quickly find relevant excerpts on a particular subject, no matter how they are worded. You can browse the 300+ topics in the expandable drawer on the left of the page, or see suggested topics while typing in the search bar (which also lets you perform free-text queries).
  • Filter searches. Want to view results for a specific region or time period? You can limit your search by country or by date using the buttons under the search bar.
  • Save for further analysis. To download or print excerpts from multiple constitutions, click the “pin” button next to each expanded passage you want to save. You can then view and download your pinned excerpts in the drawer on the right.

USE OF DATA

The content of constituteproject.org is provided under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License (which allows you to make free use of information from the site, as long as you provide attribution to the Comparative Constitutions Project, and that any subsequent distribution is under a similar license). The data that power the site are architected and maintained according to principles of the semantic web; for more information on this data and other ways to interact with it, see the Comparative Constitutions Project website.

WHICH CONSTITUTIONS ARE REPRESENTED IN CONSTITUTE?

Currently Constitute has every constitution that was in force in September of 2013 for every independent state in the world. Soon we will include data and text for a version of every available constitution ever written since 1789.

WHO IS BEHIND CONSTITUTE?

Constitute was developed by the Comparative Constitutions Project. It was seeded with a grant from Google Ideas to the University of Texas at Austin, with additional financial support from the Indigo Trust and IC2. Engineering and web-design support are provided by Psycle and the Miranker Lab at the University of Texas

The following organizations have made important investments in the Comparative Constitutions Project since 2005: the National Science Foundation (SES 0648288), the Cline Center for Democracy, the University of Texas, the University of Chicago, and the Constitution Unit at University College London.

2 comments on “News: New Comparative Constitutional Law Resource

  1. Canadian Reader
    September 24, 2013

    As the new website offers no way of contacting anybody involved, I might as well leave this comment here: the claim that “Currently Constitute has every constitution that was in force in September of 2013 for every independent state in the world” is simply not true, as none of the 30 or so documents that make up the Canadian Constitution is included. I’m willing to bet there are several other omissions too.

    • James Melton
      September 26, 2013

      Canadian Reader,

      The absence of Canada is temporary, and our site was supposed to explain why. For countries that have multi-document constitutions (we’d put Canada in this category) we are still working on the technically difficult project of tagging the texts.

      We’ve now tried to clarify that not ALL independent countries are yet in the data, though we hope it will be just a few weeks before they are (probably longer than that for the U.K.).

      We do apologize for the confusion, and rest assured that we think the Canadian constitution is an exceptionally important one.

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This entry was posted on September 24, 2013 by in Comparative law.
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