International Law

Popularity of Once-Much-Emulated US Constitution in Foreign Countries Now in 'Free Fall,' Study Says

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Only a quarter of a century ago, a Time magazine article on the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution found that the founding document of this country had influenced the national charters of 160 of the 170 countries then in existence.

Today, a study by by David S. Law of Washington University in St. Louis and Mila Versteeg of the University of Virginia has determined that the document is far less influential, reports the New York Times (reg. req.).

“Among the world’s democracies,” the study concludes, “constitutional similarity to the United States has clearly gone into free fall. Over the 1960s and 1970s, democratic constitutions as a whole became more similar to the U.S. Constitution, only to reverse course in the 1980s and 1990s.”

The U.S. Constitution may have lost popularity because it codifies relatively few rights compared to counterparts such as the European Convention on Human Rights, the newspaper says.

Social Science Research Network provides a link to an abstract of the study, which will be published in an upcoming New York University Law Review article.

Also see: “Ginsburg Appears on Egyptian TV, Talks About Constitution Writing”

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