Constitutions around the world : A View from Latin America
AbstractThis paper gives a global summary of the number of constitutions and the number ofã€€articles in each constitution for many representative countries around the world. Severalã€€works have already been written comparing different legal systems and differentã€€constitutional traditions around the world; the purpose of this paper is just to compare theã€€numbers of constitutions and articles in the diverse regions of the world, namely: Northã€€America, Latin America, Europe, Oceania, Middle East, Asia and Africa. Around the world, on average, Latin America has had the most convoluted constitutional history. The Dominican Republic has had a total of 32 constitutions, the largest number of constitutions of any country, since its independence in 1844. Three other countries have also had 20 or more constitutions throughout their history, all of them in Latin America: Venezuela (26), Haiti (24) and Ecuador (20). On the other hand, there are economies and societies that do not even have codified constitutions, like the United Kingdom in Europe, Hong Kong in Asia and New Zealand in Oceania. The United States has had only one constitution, even if it has been amended several times. There are also the special cases of Israel and Saudi Arabia, both in the Middle East, that do not have official written constitutions for historical and religious reasons. Comparative constitutional numbers and history help explain several things about the stability of political systems, but not necessarily about their quality.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization(JETRO) in its series IDE Discussion Papers with number 164.
Date of creation: Jul 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in IDE Discussion Paper. No. 164. 2008.7
Postal: Publication Office, IDE 3-2-2 Wakaba, Mihama-ku, Chiba-shi, Chiba 261-8545 JAPAN
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- K00 - Law and Economics - - General - - - General (including Data Sources and Description)
- K10 - Law and Economics - - Basic Areas of Law - - - General (Constitutional Law)
- K40 - Law and Economics - - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-09-29 (All new papers)
- NEP-HIS-2008-09-29 (Business, Economic & Financial History)
- NEP-LAW-2008-09-29 (Law & Economics)
- NEP-POL-2008-09-29 (Positive Political Economics)
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