Title: We the people: federalism and constitutional reform

Authors: Francisco Caamaño Domínguez

Addresses: Public Law Department, University of La Coruña, Spain

Abstract: It was not by chance that the power of amendment was born with the first democratic and federal constitution in history. Its express recognition arose not only because of tensions between the minority and the majority, but also because of the need to articulate a formula of understanding between the peoples of the states and the federal nation. This latter perspective is what this article examines, from two fundamental axes. The first is based on the idea the constitutional recognition of the power of amendment replaces the classical right of rebellion - which became a right to secession - of member states with a 'constitutional right to block reform', one of the characteristics of federal states. The second axis of analysis is linked to the affirmation that the state is a reality that precedes and conditions the constitution as a law, which is why implicit limits may be inferred to the power of amendment from this pre-existence.

Keywords: constitutional theory; state theory; constitutional amendment; constitutional change; democracy; separation of powers; fundamental rights; rule of law; federal state; federalism.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHRCS.2021.113761

International Journal of Human Rights and Constitutional Studies, 2021 Vol.8 No.1/2, pp.4 - 16

Received: 19 May 2020
Accepted: 25 May 2020

Published online: 12 Mar 2021 *

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