Rejecting judicial supremacy in constitutional interpretation, this paper argues that understanding the interpretation of constitutions to be a solely legal and judicial undertaking excludes citizens from such activity. The paper proffers a two-pronged classification of analyses of constitutional interpretation. Implicit accounts discuss interpretation without reflecting on whether such activity can or should be performed by non-judicial institutions as well. Explicit accounts ask whether interpretation of constitutions is a matter to be dealt with by courts and answer affirmatively. I criticise both (...) camps. Implicit accounts fail to explain why constitutional interpretation is purely judicial in character. Explicit accounts do not provide enough reasons why the judiciary is allegedly the ideal institution to give constitutions meaning with final authority, both in instrumental and normative terms. The paper closes by suggesting avenues for future research. (shrink)
In this comment to Celano’s “Pre-Conventions. A Fragment of the Background”, the author introduces the following question: What kind of explanation fits better with behaviours that could be categorised as pre-conventions? Some possible answers to the question are explored, as well as some possible implications for Celano’s proposal.
In his essay “Pre-Conventions: A Fragment of the Background”, Bruno Celano seems to endorse three claims about what he calls ‘pre-conventions’: that such ‘entities’ exist; that they are neither rules nor de facto regularities; and that their ‘character’ is at once factual and normative: that pre-conventions are “literally, ‘normative facts’.” I suggest that and are not particularly striking claims, and that Celano’s case for is unpersuasive.