When Good Constitutions Go Bad

“Non,” “Nee” and now the UK isn’t even going to ask. The European Constitution itself is a massive document of more than 250 pages and 448 – or is it 465? – articles, drafted via a year-long, open access process. But somewhere the process – and the PR – failed. The U.S. constitution has only seven articles, and its writers knew it had to be simple and readable if it was going to pass. We want to know what’s in a constitution: whether the key is in the writing or the ratifying or the PR or all of it. Was the American experience an anomaly – or an example?

Kim Lane Scheppele

John J. O’Brien Professor of Comparative Law and Sociology, University of Pennslyvania Law School

worked on the Afghani and Hungarian constitutions, has been invited to help write one for Iraq

[over ISDN from Philadelphia]

Akhil Reed Amar

professor of constitutional law at Yale, just completed a biography of the US constitution

[by phone from New Haven, CT]

Richard Corbett

blogger; UK Member of the European Parliament; and Chair of the Constitutional Affairs committee

[by phone from Strasbourg, France]

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