The full text of the article is available only in Russian.
Compliance with the limits of constitutional change is within the competence of the bodies involved in this process. It is the prerogative of political authorities: the parliament, the head of state, the authorities of the states of federal unity, or the people themselves. However, such bodies may either be in the thrall of their own convictions or belong to the same political platform, which objectively reduces the degree of control over one another, or they may simply have the goal to abuse their power to amend the constitution. It seems that, besides political review, there should be judicial review over constitutional amendments, since it is important to have some external, impartial, disinterested body, which, not being political by its nature, is excluded from the political struggle and is able to provide control over the constitutional change in terms of the procedure, and in terms of the content of this change. Judicial review is best suited for this role. The limits of constitutional change in the absence of a mechanism for their judicial protection are perceived as political declarations or moral restrictions to the constitutional legislator, who is free to both follow them and ignore them. When there is a special mechanism of judicial review, the limits of constitutional change acquire a binding and restrictive effect for the constitutional legislator and the possible legal consequences of recognizing constitutional changes unconstitutional. This article makes a distinction between political and judicial constitutional control of constitutional amendments, argues for the need of the latter, defines judicial review of constitutional amendments, analyzes ways for its establishment in the field of constitutional law, and gives examples of legal argumentation of judicial review of constitutional amendments.
About the author:
Dmitry Shustrov – Candidate of Sciences (Ph.D.) in Law; Associate Professor, Lomonosov Moscow State University; Moscow, Russia
Shustrov D. (2019) “Pust’ oni eshchyo bol’she remney na tebya namotayut”: konstitutsionnyy kontrol’ za popravkami k konstitutsii v sravnitel’noy perspektive [“Let them put even more belts on you”: the judicial review of constitutional amendments in a comparative perspective]. Sravnitel’noe konstitutsionnoe
obozrenie, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 105–123. (In Russian).
Badinter R. (1998) Le Conseil constitutionnel et le pouvoir constituent. In: Mélanges Jacques Robert: Libertés, Paris: Montchrestien, pp. 217–225.
Baranger D. (2011) The Language of Eternity: Judicial Review of the Amending Power in France (or the Absence Thereof). Israel Law Review, vol. 44, no. 3, pp. 389–428.
Barak A. (2011) Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments. Israel Law Review, vol. 44, no. 3, pp. 321–341.
Bernal’ K. (2014) Nekonstitutsionnye popravki k Konstitutsii v sudebnoy praktike Kolumbii: analiz obosnovaniya i znacheniya doktriny zameshcheniya konstitutsii [Unconstitutional amendments in the judicial practice of Colombia: an analysis of the rationale and implications of the doctrine of constitutional substitution]. Sravnitel’noe konstitutsionnoe obozrenie, vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 68–83. (In Russian).
Bickel A. M. (1962) The Least Dangerous Branch: The Supreme Court at the Bar of Politics, Indianapolis, IN: Bobbs-Merrill.
Brewer-Carías A. R. (2011) Constitutional Courts as Positive Legislators: A Comparative Law Study, New York: Cambridge University Press.
Chang W.-C., Tan K. Y., Thio L.-A., Yeh J.-R. (2014) Constitutionalism in Asia: Cases and Materials, Oxford; Portland, OR: Hart Publishing.
Dorsen N., Rosenfeld M., Sajó A., Baer S. (2003) Comparative Constitutionalism: Cases and Materials, St. Paul, MN: Thomson West.
Espinosa M. J. C., Landau D. (2017) Colombian Constitutional Law: Leading Cases, New York: Oxford University Press.
Frierson W. L. (1920) Amending the Constitution of the United States: A Reply to Mr. Marbury. Harvard Law Review, vol. 33, no. 5, pp. 659–666.
Genevois B. (1998) Les limites d’ordre juridique à l’intervention du pouvoir constituent. Revue française de droit administrati, no. 5, pp. 909–921.
Habrieva T. Ya. (ed.) (2016) Venetsianskaya komissiya o konstitutsiyakh, konstitutsionnykh popravkakh i konstitutsionnom pravosudii: sbornik analiticheskikh materialov Venetsianskoy komissii Soveta Evropy [The Venice Commission on Constitutions, Constitutional Amendments and Constitutional Justice: A Compilation of Analytical Materials by the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe], Moscow: Institut zakonodatel’stva i sravnitel’nogo pravovedeniya pri Pravitel’stve RF. (In Russian).
Isensee J., Kirchhof P. (eds.) (2004) Handbuch des Staatsrechts der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Band II: Verfassungstaat, 3rd ed., Heidelberg: C. F. Müller Verlag.
Kel’zen G. (2006) Sudebnaya garantiya Konstitutsii (Konstitutsionnaya yustitsiya). Chast’ 2 [Judicial Guarantee of the Constitution (Constitutional Justice). Part 2]. Pravo i politika, no. 9, pp. 5–18. (In Russian).
Kenenova I. P., Troitskaya A. A., Shustrov D. G. (2015) Sravnitel’noe konstitutsionnoe pravo v doktrine i sudebnykh resheniyakh [Comparative constitutional law in doctrine and court decisions], Moscow: URSS,
KRASAND. (In Russian).
Khaberle P. (2003) Otkrytoe obshchestvo tolkovateley konstitutsii [Open Society of Interpreters of the Constitution]. Konstitutsionnoe pravo: vostochnoevropeyskoe obozrenie, no. 1, pp. 21–28. (In Russian).
Marbury W. L. (1919) The Limitations upon the Amending Power. Harvard Law Review, vol. 33, no. 2, pp. 223–235.
Oliver D., Fusaro C. (eds.) (2011) How Constitutions Change: A Comparative Study, Oxford; Portland, OR: Hart Publishing.
Roznai Y. (2014) Legisprudence Limitations on Constitutional Amendments? Reflections on The Czech Constitutional Court’s Declaration of Unconstitutional Constitutional Act. Vienna Journal on International
Constitutional Law, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 29–57.
Roznai Y. (2012) The Migration of the Indian Basic Structure Doctrine. In: Lokendra M. (ed.) Judicial Activism in India: A Festschrift in Honour of Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer, Delhi: Universal Law Publishing Co., pp. 240–262.
Roznai Y. (2017) Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments: The Limits of Amendment Powers, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Roznai Y. (2013) Unconstitutional Constitutional Amendments – The Migration and Success of a Constitutional Idea. American Journal of Comparative Law, vol. 61, no. 3, pp. 657–720.
Shmitt K. (2013) Gosudarstvo: pravo i politika [The State: law and politics], Moscow: Izdatel’skiy dom “Territoriya budushchego”. (In Russian).
Shustrov D. G. (2015) Konstitutsionnaya revolyutsiya i vozniknovenie printsipa proportsional’nosti v konstitutsionnom prave Izrailya [Constitutional revolution and the emergence of the principle of proportionality in the constitutional law of Israel]. Sravnitel’noe konstitutsionnoe obozrenie, no. 1, pp. 92–116. (In Russian).
Shustrov D. G. (2015) Printsip proportsional’nosti v konstitutsionnom prave Izrailya [The principle of proportionality in constitutional law of Israel], Moscow: URSS, LENAND. (In Russian).
Shustrov D. G. (2018) Material’nye predely izmeneniya konstitutsiy postsovetskikh gosudarstv [Material limits of constitutional change in post-Soviet states]. Sravnitel’noe konstitutsionnoe obozrenie, no. 2, pp. 86–103. (In Russian).
Shustrov D. G. (2018) Mekhanizmy obespecheniya stabil’nosti konstitutsii v postsovetskikh gosudarstvakh [Mechanisms of ensuring the stability of the constitution in Post-Soviet states]. Zhurnal zarubezhnogo
zakonodatel’stva i sravnitel’nogo pravovedeniya, no. 4, pp. 20–30. (In Russian).
Shustrov D. G. (2018) Reshenie organa konstitutsionnogo kontrolya po delam o proverke konstitutsionnosti izmeneniya konstitutsii i ego pravovye posledstviya [Decision of the Constitutional Court on the matters of verification of the constitutionality of constitutional amendments and its legal consequences]. Zhurnal konstitutsionnogo pravosudiya, no. 3, pp. 1–9. (In Russian).
Skinner G. D. (1920) Intrinsic Limitations on the Power of Constitutional Amendment. Michigan Law Review, vol. 18, no. 3, pp. 213–225.
Smith E. (2011) Old and Protected? On the “Supra-Constitutional” Clause in the Constitution of Norway. Israel Law Review, vol. 44, no. 3, pp. 369–388.
Choudhry S., Khosla M., Bhanu Mehta P. (eds.) (2016) The Oxford Handbook of the Indian Constitution, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Vedel G. (1993) Souveraineté et supraconstitutionnalité. Pouvoirs: Revue française d’études constitutionnelles et politiques, no. 67: La souveraineté, pp. 79–97.
Vile J. R. (2010) A Companion to the United States Constitution and its Amendments, 5th ed., Santa Barbara, CA; Denver, CO; Oxford: PRAEGER, ABC-CLIO, LLC.
Zhakke Zh.-P. (2002) Konstitutsionnoe pravo i politicheskie instituty [Constitutional law and political institutions], Moscow: Yurist. (In Russian).
Moscow, Shchepkina str., 8
+7 (495) 608-69-59
+7 (495) 608-66-35