Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Comparative Constitutional Law LAW4129

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Law
  • Credits: 30
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course introduces the students to the comparative study of constitutional law by comparing several constitutional orders: Canada, Australia, South Africa, Israel and the US. It will touch upon some key constitutional issues common to all these countries.


Two-hour seminars every week for fifteen classes (Monday 1300-1500)

Requirements of Entry

To have already taken the following exams: Constitutional Law 1 and Law and Government

Excluded Courses



No other co-requisites


Summative assessment is comprised of a 3000-word essay (40%) and two-hour exam (60%)

The essay will ask students to compare different solutions to a specific issue in comparative terms and to asses which one is the most effective and why.

The exam will verify students' skills in identifying the main tenets of contemporary constitutional traditions and to illustrate continuities and differences among them (in particular, constitutional powers and rights)

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable


Course Aims

This course aims to introduce students to the main tenets of some important constitutional orders and to offer the opportunity of reflecting on the role of constitutional law in contemporary societies. It also aims to make students familiar with different cultures in contemporary constitutionalism. Finally, it offers an ideal complement to Constitutional law and Law and Government.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

Identify the main trends in contemporary constitutional law, at least in the Commonwealth;

identify the main distinctive tenets of constitutional orders;

compare the constitutional traditions of the Commonwealth;

argue what is the best constitutional solution for a specific issue

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.