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Osgoode Hall Law Journal

Submission Title

Introduction

Comparative constitutional law is today an exciting and increasingly diverse field of academic inquiry in US and Canadian law schools, as the excellent papers for this Symposium illustrate. Looking back, the 1990s were also a dynamic period for comparative constitutional law, with a predictable emphasis on constitution drafting in Eastern Europe and South Africa. As law and economics and empirical work became popular tools of legal analysis, comparative constitutional law initially drifted instead toward a focus on constitutional courts and on positive and negative liberties. Moreover, once the focus shifted away from active constitution drafting projects, questions re-surfaced about why we should compare constitutions and, in turn, about how they should be compared. Today, the field appears to have put this existential anxiety aside. Recent work is methodologically diverse with a strong focus on empirical analysis. The empirical focus is complemented by sophisticated work on informal or unwritten norms, a theme that runs through the contributions to this Symposium. Geographic diversity is becoming somewhat less challenging—at least superficially—due in part to a growth of resources available in English. The field is also diversifying in terms

Keywords

Introduction

Document Type

Special Issue Article

Abstract

Comparative constitutional law is today an exciting and increasingly diverse field of academic inquiry in US and Canadian law schools, as the excellent papers for this Symposium illustrate. Looking back, the 1990s were also a dynamic period for comparative constitutional law, with a predictable emphasis on constitution drafting in Eastern Europe and South Africa. As law and economics and empirical work became popular tools of legal analysis, comparative constitutional law initially drifted instead toward a focus on constitutional courts and on positive and negative liberties. Moreover, once the focus shifted away from active constitution drafting projects, questions re-surfaced about why we should compare constitutions and, in turn, about how they should be compared. Today, the field appears to have put this existential anxiety aside. Recent work is methodologically diverse with a strong focus on empirical analysis. The empirical focus is complemented by sophisticated work on informal or unwritten norms, a theme that runs through the contributions to this Symposium. Geographic diversity is becoming somewhat less challenging—at least superficially—due in part to a growth of resources available in English. The field is also diversifying in terms

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