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International Encyclopaedia of Laws Guide

IEL Constitutional Law Contents

The International Encyclopaedia of Laws (IEL) Constitutional Law includes information in book-length form written in English for 43 countries.  The monographs are written by legal academics and/or practitioners with expertise in constitutional law for those countries.  The monographs enable comparative research in constitutional law.  These monographs include a general introduction on constitutional law followed by specialized chapters on treaties, legislation, jurisprudence, unwritten law, the legislature, the executive, the judiciary, citizenship and the administration of justice, competition law, and specific problems.  A more detailed Table of Contents follows:


I. National Constitutional Law
Each State has a constitution, a set of basic rules determining the organisation and the workings of public authorities and the relation between those authorities and the people. These rules can be written down formally in a “Constitution” or not. Many of these rules usually have a higher legal status and can only be modified through a special procedure. The Encyclopaedia covers a State’s constitution in all these senses, formal and informal, written and unwritten. Each national monograph offers five systematic parts:
The General Introduction provides general, though brief, geographical and demographic data on the countries involved and information as to their political system and their historical background. Provided also is a selected bibliography of leading works for more detail.

  • Part I deals with the sources of constitutional law: treaties, the Constitution, legislation in all forms, caselaw, unwritten law, subordinate regulations and orders.
  • Part II looks at the form of government, outlines the legal status, the competence and the workings of the central State powers (the Head of State, the Legislature, the Executive, the Judiciary) and points out the role of political parties, interest groups, administrative and advisory bodies.
  • Part III studies the State form and the subdivisions of the State, the component (sub-)states and decentralised authorities.
  • Part IV examines citizenship, especially nationality and the legal position of foreigners, as well as fundamental rights and liberties and judicial protection against the Executive.
  • Finally, Part V considers certain specific issues, such as foreign relations, taxing and spending powers, emergency laws, the power of the military and the constitutional relationship between Church and State.

II. Texts of Constitutions
The English versions of the Constitutions are edited to highlight matters including structure, language, amendments, and relevant statutes and cases, tying all to the respective national monograph.

III. Sub-national Constitutional Law
The Encyclopaedia also has corresponding monographs on sub-national constitutional law.


The Authors.
Table of Contents.
List of Abbreviations.
General Introduction.

Part I: Sources of Constitutional Law (Notion and Hierarchy).
1. Treaties.
2. Constitution.
3. Legislation and Equivalent Legislative Rules.
4. Jurisprudence.
5. Customary Law, Unwritten Law, General Principles of Law.
6. Administrative Regulations and Orders.
7. Codification, Interpretation and Publication.

Part II: Form of Government.
1. General.
2. Head of State.
3. The Legislature.
4. The Executive.
5. The Judiciary.
6. Independent Non-political Bodies in the Legislative or Executive Branch with an Advisory or Supervisory Task.

Part III: The State and its Subdivisions.
1. State Form.
2. Component States or Entities.
3. Decentralized Authorities.

Part IV: Citizenship and the Administration of Justice.
1. Rules Concerning Nationality and Relevance of Nationality.
2. Fundamental Rights and Liberties.
3. Constitutional Problems of Minorities.
4. Judicial Control of Administrative Action.
5. Legal Position of Aliens.

Part V: Specific Problems.
1. War, Treaty, and Foreign Affairs Powers.
2. Taxing and Spending Power.
3. Emergency Laws.
4. The Power of the Military.
5. The Constitutional Relationship Between Church and State.

Selected Bibliography.

Link to IEL Constitutional Law

Subject Specialist

Lyonette Louis-Jacques's picture
Lyonette Louis-Jacques
Foreign and International Law
Librarian and Lecturer in Law

D'Angelo Law Library
University of Chicago Law School