Faculty of Law

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 3, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Law
OfferedNot offered in 2013


In the beginning of the 21st century, it seems that the age of parliamentary democracy had passed and that the concept of constitutional democracy had swept the world. Yet, closer study reveals that the picture is not uniform. First, substantively different versions of the constitutional model may be identified. Second, it is already possible to see the first signs of a shift to a stage of synthesis in which a new constitutional model is being generated which integrates the principle of the supremacy of the legislature with that of the supremacy of the judiciary.
This course will concentrate on presenting various constitutional models and examining their advantages and disadvantages. The course will be divided into three parts. In the first part we shall describe the 'traditional constitutional model' and its underlying rationale. In addition, we shall distinguish between various versions of this model and illustrate them by describing and comparing the constitutional mechanism in a number of countries (United States, Germany, France and Italy). In the second part, we shall examine several arguments against the traditional constitutional model and various proposals made to resolve those argument. In the third part, we shall describe the 'synthesized model', explain its rationale and illustrate it by describing the constitutional mechanism in a number of countries which have apparently adopted it (Canada, New Zealand and Great Britain).


  1. Present various constitutional models.
  2. Examine the advantages and disadvantages of each model.
  3. Present and compare constitutional mechanism in a number of countries.


Take-home examination - 100%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

Students will be required to attend 36 hours of seminars, and undertake approximately an additional 108 hours of private study, including reading, class preparation, assignment preparation and exam revision time over the duration of the course.