Friday, 18 January 2013

Fair Play and the Public's Role in Constitution-Making

Today I posted a working paper on constitution-making and how public participation can improve the public's felt and philosophical legal obligation to obey the law, important in any post-conflict country such as Libya.

The full article can be accessed here, and an abstract follows:

The increased role of technology in constitution-making and its improved possibilities for popular contributions in the Arab Spring and elsewhere raises interesting questions regarding public constitution-making and the obligation to obey the law. 

The question that will be addressed in this paper is what methods of public participation in constitution-making will create an obligation to obey the new constitutional regime under a “completed” version of John Simmons’ theory of fair play. In answering that question, this paper will first canvas methods of public participation, using examples from three states where public involvement in constitution-making was significant, Iceland, South Africa, and the United States. This paper will then explore Simmons’ theory of fair play and “complete” it, rendering it capable, under certain circumstances, of recognizing fair play obligations to obey the law that are more easily scalable. This paper will also develop a construct implied within Simmons’ theory in identifying when a community constitutes a “cooperative scheme.” 

Finally, this paper will then analyze whether and what kinds of participatory drafting methods and schemes qualify under Simmons’ “completed” theory in creating scalable, prima facie fair play obligations to obey the law.

1 comment:

  1. This isn't a comment concerning anything to do with your constitutional writing, but I haven't found another way to contact you. I just tried my link to your other blog amormonatoxford and found it changed to an invitation-only blog. I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed reading that blog and the thoughtful faith-based things you shared. I wish you the very best. You have so much of value to offer the world!