1129 | Transformative Constitutionalism: Origins, Issues and Prospects

Course Information

  • 2021-22
  • 1129
  • 5-Year B.A., LL.B. (Hons.), LL.M.
  • V
  • Jul 2021
  • Elective Course

This course is an intermediate to advanced level course that uses a comparative method to introduce participants to a range of questions about the role of the judiciary in a democratic society, the role of law in social change, and the relationship between different branches of government while being engaged in the process of legally bounded societal transformation. It does so by interrogating transformative constitutionalism. It builds on at least three courses in either the masters or undergraduate program: Comparative Public Law and Governance (HRL- CPLG808), Rights, Duties, and Institutions (RDI908), and Transformative Constitutionalism (TC904).

Transformative constitutionalism provides a frame for explaining and better understanding the exercise of public authority in the interpretation of a constitution that is aimed at the effective transformation of deeply entrenched structures toward a more egalitarian or democratic society. The phrase has gained a mercurial currency in the idiom of social, political, and legal actors from a range of jurisdictions who invoke it in a variety of ways. Yet, in countries around the world where such a framing is used, there has been an ascendence of populist governments who have done little to redress historical wrongs of social, economic, and political exclusion that have been perpetrated upon a community, while also going down a path of democratic erosion.