Legal Constitutionalism in Civil Law Systems

By: Anavitarte, E. J.*

For the particularities of civil law systems, Legal Constitutionalism is divided in three different stages: classic constitutionalism, social constitutionalism, and neo-constitutionalism, marking a division between the promulgation of different constitutions in these countries.

This division is due to at least two reasons: first, (a) that countries outside of common law systems, tend to change constitutions easier, depending on historical and social circumstances; and second, (b) that during the last two centuries, hegemonic powers in West were English speaking countries: the United States and the United Kingdom, so their systems overcame historical circumstances.

And this is important to understand social, judicial and political differences between the Anglo-Saxon world and the rest of the Western world, such as Germany, France, Spain or Latin America; where the influence of phenomena such as neo-constitutionalism, is clearly noted, and they are subject rarely addressed in the English legal literature.

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