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Rosalind Dixon

Constitution makers often leave key issues undecided, or choose to defer certain issues for future resolution. This chapter examines this practice of constitutional ‘deferral’, and its different variants in constitution-making processes worldwide – including in the form of abstract (rather than specific) constitutional language, express by-law clauses and conflicting constitutional provisions.  It considers how deferral of this kind can help address both ‘decision’ and ‘error’ costs in processes of constitution-making, but also raise its own dangers of long-term delay or ‘burdens of inertia’ in constitutional implementation.  Finally, it considers what if any solutions there may be to this problem of recursive constitutional referral, including the idea of time-frames for deferred action, and judicial enforcement of legislative duties of constitutional implementation.

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Edited by Rosalind Dixon and Tom Ginsburg

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Rosalind Dixon and Tom Ginsburg

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Edited by Rosalind Dixon and Tom Ginsburg

This book provides unique insights into the practice of democratic constitutionalism in one of the world’s most legally and politically significant regions. It combines contributions from leading Latin American and global scholars to provide ‘bottom up’ and ‘top down’ insights about the lessons to be drawn from the distinctive constitutional experiences of countries in Latin America. In doing so, it also draws on a rich array of legal and interdisciplinary perspectives. Ultimately, it shows both the promise of democratic constitutions as a vehicle for social, economic and political change, and the variation in the actual constitutional experiences of different countries on the ground – or the limits to constitutions as a locus for broader social change.
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Rosalind Dixon and Tom Ginsburg

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Edited by Tom Ginsburg and Rosalind Dixon

This landmark volume of specially commissioned, original contributions by top international scholars organizes the issues and controversies of the rich and rapidly maturing field of comparative constitutional law.
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Rosalind Dixon and Jade Bond

After the introduction in section 16.1, the chapter is divided into four sections. Section 16.2 outlines the decisions in Roe, Casey, Morgentaler, Abortion I and II and the Colombian Abortion Case, their key holdings, and the degree to which these decisions reveal important areas of difference in terms of the conceptualization of women’s rights and the status of the foetus. Section 16.3 discusses the extent to which, despite these differences, the decisions have produced quite similar outcomes for the regulation of first trimester abortions, in terms of their status as safe and legal but discouraged, and considers the particular commonalities in this context between the US and Germany. It also explores the degree to which all four jurisdictions share an important commitment to capital ‘C’ constitutional argument or decision-making in this context, where most jurisdictions worldwide tend to resolve these issues by means of ‘ordinary’ legislative, executive, judicial – or small ‘c’ constitutional – means. Section 16.4 considers the factors that may explain the constitutionalization of reproductive rights questions in these countries, and what, if any, lessons scholars of comparative constitutional law can draw from this area as to the key forces that drive convergence, versus divergence, in the constitutionalization of key social controversies. Section 16.5 provides a brief conclusion.

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Edited by Rosalind Dixon and Tom Ginsburg

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Rosalind Dixon and Tom Ginsburg