Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

12-2015

Abstract

On January 26, 2014, an overwhelming majority of the National Constituent Assembly of Tunisia approved the country's new constitution. Drafted in the aftermath of the Tunisian revolution, the constitution received considerable international critical acclaim, regarding the manner in which the text had been drafted and adopted as well as its content, notably the entrenchment of a host of fundamental rights and liberties. Comparisons have inevitably been drawn with Egypt's new constitution and those of other Arab nations, with the Tunisian text hailed as one of the most progressive in the region, providing the foundations for a modern and credible democracy. In accomplishing this feat, the constitution's drafters were assisted by the European Commission for Democracy Through Law, better known as the Venice Commission - something that has, however, not been widely recognized. And the Tunisians are not alone. Since the Venice Commission's inception in 1990, its services to advise and assist on constitutional reform projects have been engaged with a growing frequency, by both European and non-European states. This development means that the Venice Commission is rapidly becoming an actor of significance in constitutional engineering and, further, that its involvement in processes of constitutional change across different jurisdictions may generate convergence in national constitutional designs and approaches. Somewhat surprisingly, however, the work of the Commission appears to have largely escaped academic notice. This neglect is all the more stark given that formal changes to constitutional arrangements are generally on the rise.

Keywords

constitutional law, Tunisia, Arab nations, Venice Commission

Discipline

Comparative and Foreign Law | Constitutional Law

Research Areas

Law, Society and Governance

Publication

American Journal of Comparative Law

Volume

63

Issue

4

First Page

963

Last Page

1008

ISSN

0002-919X

Identifier

10.5131/AJCL.2015.0029

Publisher

American Society of Comparative Law

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.5131/AJCL.2015.0029

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