Wednesday, February 8, 2012

In Drafting a New Constitution, Where Would Justice Ginsburg Look for Models?

Not to the U.S. Constitution, but to post World War II Constitutions. Last week in Egypt, Justice Ginsburg gave advice to the country‚Äôs revolutionaries: 

"I would not look to the U.S. Constitution, if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012," Ginsburg said in an interview on Al Hayat television last Wednesday. "I might look at the constitution of South Africa. That was a deliberate attempt to have a fundamental instrument of government that embraced basic human rights, have an independent judiciary. It really is, I think, a great piece of work that was done."

She then pointed not only to South Africa's constitution, but to Canada's 1982 Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the European Convention on Human Rights.

"Why not take advantage of what is else there in the world? I'm a very strong believer in listening and learning from others," Ginsburg added.

Justice Ginsburg also noted several positive aspects of the U.S. Constitution, particularly separation of powers, checks and balances, and an independent judiciary in which the judges have fixed salaries.

Here is a link to the article.


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