Is Constitutionalism Obsolete? Cover Image

Este constituţionalismul un concept depășit
Is Constitutionalism Obsolete?

Author(s): Ion Brad
Subject(s): Law, Constitution, Jurisprudence
Published by: Editura Lumen, Asociatia Lumen
Keywords: Constitution; Constitutionalism; Democracy; Power Abuse

Summary/Abstract: Few doctrines of constitutional law had to undergo such a terminological abuse as the notion of constitutionalism. Used frequently, but without rigor, by lawyers political science scholars or just politicians, the concept carries today a multitude of meanings. The remark of Giovanni Sartori, that the legal terminology, in the measure in which it affects political law, tends to be distorted and abused, proved again accurate. But the depreciation of constitutionalism was determined not only by the terminological chaos. There is for some time in the constitutional law doctrine a certain attitude of skepticism and disappointment towards this notion. Usually, this attitude is sustained by references to well-known examples of constitutions which were only a façade or which didn’t manage to be efficient barriers in front of different totalitarian movements. Accordingly, constitutionalism is considered an obsolete concept, whose initial promises were not confirmed by subsequent developments. This paper intends to be a pleading for constitutionalism. We will analyze the accusations made against it, trying to prove that the pessimistic perspective upon this concept is not justified. We have conceived this attempt to revitalize constitutionalism in two stages. First, we will operate a number of terminological clarifications. From its numerous meanings, we want to discover the authentic one. Secondly, we will argue that correctly understood, constitutionalism is a concept more actual and valuable than ever.

  • Issue Year: II/2013
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 135-144
  • Page Count: 10
  • Language: Romanian