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Popular Participation in Constitutional Amendment: A Public Debate

On the occasion of the publication of the book X. Contiades/A. Fotiadou (Eds), Participatory Constitutional Change. The People as Amenders of the Constitution, (Routledge 2017), The Centre for European Constitutional Law – Themistocles and Dimitris Tsatsos Foundation organizes a public debate in Athens, Greece on the issue:

Popular Participation in Constitutional Amendment

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Conventional Wisdom: The Alternate Article V Mechanism for Proposing Amendments to the U.S. Constitution

John R. Vile, (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2016, xv + 266 pp., ISBN: 978-0-8203-4900-8).

This book is the culmination of more than 30 years of thinking about the unused Article V convention mechanism and related subjects. I spend the first part of the book exploring the origins of Article V processes and convention precedents in the late eighteenth and throughout the nineteenth centuries. I also examine early legal commentaries on the subject. Although I believe the weight of this evidence, including Alexander Hamilton’s comments in Federalist No. 85, suggest that such conventions can be limited, I note that this specific issue does not appear to have been as prominent in earlier legal and political discourse as it is now, and I examine recent arguments both for and against the limited convention option.

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The new Hungarian Fundamental Law: recent developments

by Prof. Dr. Zoltán Szente

In September 2013, the National Assembly of Hungary adopted the fifth amendment of the Fundamental Law of 2011. This modification, similarly to the basic law and all of its modifications, was voted only by the MPs of the government coalition, but, as the Government has a constitution-making (that is a two-thirds) majority in Parliament, it was enough to adopt it.

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