The aim of this online workshop is to bring together scholars at any stage of their career who have an interest in constituent power in Commonwealth constitutional legal systems.

Papers may be at any stage of development but participants will be expected to circulate a paper in advance of the workshop of not less than 3,000 words to facilitate discussion. 

Due to take place online in April 2021, the workshop will provide an opportunity for feedback and discussion on the papers presented as well as facilitating dialogue more broadly on the research themes with a view to developing pathways for future research collaboration.  

Constituent power—the power to create a constitutional order—is an under-theorised concept in legal systems originating from and influenced by the United Kingdom. Several questions arise as a result of this under-theorisation:

  • Can the claim that constituent power is possessed by ‘the people’ be maintained in a constitutional order that was externally imposed?
  • Who are or should be ‘the people’, how has this evolved over time in commonwealth constitutional systems, and how does this affect where constituent power lies?
  • What processes can be developed for these constitutions to be repatriated or, indeed, ‘patriated’?
  • What role has constituent power to play in a constitutional order where ‘What the Crown-in-Parliament enacts is law’ is the apex norm and there are no constitutionally entrenched laws legally restricting this power? 
  • How should constitutions be designed to enable ‘the people’ to challenge those who claim to speak on their behalf?
  • To what extent should indigenous populations be given a distinct voice in constitutions and constituent processes? 

Submit an abstract of no more than 250 words to Dr Alan Greene:

Please note that the deadline for abstracts is 22nd January 2021, the workshop will take place online in April 2021.