Reviewed by Professor Venter ventures in a comparative survey of four constitutional systems whose choice appears, at first glance, an oddity: what possibly could explain the selection of Japan, Germany, Canada and South Africa for the undertaking of a comparative study on constitutionalism? What do they have in common? Professor Venter justifies his choice on the basis of those countries meeting two criteria: conforming to the definition of constitutionalism, of which a limited and non-arbitrary government, legally enforceable rights and dominance of the law are the constitutive elements, and the modern, i.e. post-World War 11, character. By positing the latter criterion, Professor Venter wisely refrained from engaging in yet another study of the classic or neo-classic constitutional systems, such as the United Kingdom's, the United States', France's, Germany's Weimar Constitution or Japan's Meiji Constitution. One can only regret that he had not been seriously daring and willing to consider a more diversified and less Western-influenced sample, by considering for example the constitutional systems of India, Indonesia, Brazil, Russia or Argentina. In the first chapter of the book, the author tackles methodological considerations and adumbrates four approaches to constitutional comparison: empirical description, historical exposition, thematic A. A. YUSUF (ed.),
African Yearbook of International Law Online – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2001
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