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What are constitutions for?

Everything promised by a democratic constitutional convention is at odds with what a constitution actually does.

By Tom Cutterham  

Source: Constitutional Convention [Public domain]/Wikimedia Commons

On New Year’s day a new constitution came into force in Hungary. A new Icelandic constitution, which incorporates online suggestions from the public, could be ratified next year by referendum. In Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya—and soon, perhaps, in Syria— new constitutions are being established. Constitution-writing hasn’t been this fashionable since the collapse of the Soviet bloc. With Lords reform now off the government’s agenda in the UK, a written constitution here seems far-off, and an EU-wide constitutional convention is just as unlikely. But it’s…

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