Title: Amending by interpreting: the constitutional jurisdiction as amendment power

Authors: Ignacio Villaverde Menéndez

Addresses: Department of Public Law, University of Oviedo, Avd. Valentín Andrés s/n. 33006 Oviedo, Asturias, Spain

Abstract: The way in which the tension between the vocation of endure of the constitutions and the need to adapt to the socio-political changes in their environment has been reconciled by the institutionalisation of their change through the procedures of constitutional reform. But there is another way to do that: the silent constitutional reform practiced by constitutional courts when they interpret its precepts. This question raises the difficulty of identifying in which cases the constitution interpretation by constitutional judiciary is actually a silent constitutional change. In this paper, the author argues that the literal text of constitutional provisions is the only certain border between interpretation and the silent constitutional mutation by judiciary, and the institutionalisation of change through formalised processes of constitutional reform is the only democratic way to resolve the tension between durability and change.

Keywords: constitutional amendment; constitutional reform; constitutional interpretation; constitutional judiciary; constitutional courts; time; constitution.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHRCS.2021.113757

International Journal of Human Rights and Constitutional Studies, 2021 Vol.8 No.1/2, pp.65 - 79

Received: 01 May 2020
Accepted: 12 May 2020

Published online: 12 Mar 2021 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article