How does Brazil’s Constitution compare to others around the world?

. Oct 05, 2018
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We have selected a few metrics that put Brazil’s 1988 Constitution into perspective, in comparison to others across the world. Data from the Comparative Constitutions Project. The CPP is directed by Zachary Elkins (University of Texas, Department of Government), Tom Ginsburg (University of Chicago, Law School), and James Melton, and produces comprehensive data about the world’s constitutions.

</p> <hr /> <p><img loading="lazy" class="alignnone size-large wp-image-9439" src="" alt="Brazilian constitution 1988 far-right bolsonaro risk" width="923" height="1024" srcset=" 923w, 270w, 768w, 610w, 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 923px) 100vw, 923px" /></p> <hr /> <p><img loading="lazy" class="alignnone size-large wp-image-9441" src="" alt="Constitution brazil 1988 comparison length" width="1024" height="683" srcset=" 1024w, 300w, 768w, 610w, 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This is simply a report of the total number of words in the constitution as measured by Microsoft Word. </span></p> <hr /> <h2><img loading="lazy" class="alignnone size-large wp-image-9440" src="" alt="" width="1024" height="727" srcset=" 1024w, 300w, 768w, 610w, 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px" /></h2> <h2>Executive Power</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This is an additive index drawn from a working paper, Constitutional Constraints on <a href="">Executive</a> Lawmaking. The index ranges from 0-7 and captures the presence or absence of seven important aspects of executive lawmaking: (1) the power to initiate legislation; (2) the power to issue decrees; (3) the power to initiate constitutional amendments; (4) the power to declare states of emergency; (5) veto power; (6) the power to challenge the constitutionality of legislation; and (7) the power to dissolve the legislature. The index score indicates the total number of these powers given to any national executive (president, prime minister, or assigned to the government) as a whole.</span></p> <h2>Legislative Power</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This captures the formal degree of power assigned to the legislature by the constitution. The indicator is drawn from Elkins, Ginsburg and Melton, </span><a href=""><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Endurance of National Constitutions</span></i></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> (Cambridge University Press, 2009), in which we created a set of binary CCP variables to match the 32-item survey developed by M. Steven Fish and Mathew Kroenig in The Handbook of National Legislatures: A Global Survey (Cambridge University Press, 2009). The index score is simply the mean of the 32 binary elements, with higher numbers indicating more legislative power and lower numbers indicating less legislative power.</span></p> <h2>Judicial Independence</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">This index is drawn from a paper by Ginsburg and Melton, </span><a href=";httpsredir=1&amp;article=1178&amp;context=law_and_economics"><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Does De Jure Judicial Independence Really Matter?</span></i></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> A Reevaluation of Explanations for Judicial Independence. It is an additive index ranging from 0-6 that captures the constitutional presence or absence of six features thought to enhance judicial independence. The six features are: (1) whether the constitution contains an explicit statement of judicial independence; (2) whether the constitution provides that judges have lifetime appointments; (3) whether appointments to the highest court involve either a judicial council or two (or more) actors; (4) whether removal is prohibited or limited so that it requires the proposal of a supermajority vote in the legislature, or if only the public or judicial council can propose removal and another political actor is required to approve such a proposal; (5) whether removal explicitly limited to crimes and other issues of misconduct, treason, or violations of the constitution; and (6) whether judicial salaries are protected from reduction.</span></p> <hr /> <h2><img loading="lazy" class="alignnone size-large wp-image-9438" src="" alt="Brazilian constitution 1988 far-right bolsonaro risk" width="1021" height="1024" srcset=" 1021w, 150w, 300w, 768w, 610w, 120w, 1200w" sizes="(max-width: 1021px) 100vw, 1021px" /></h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In our ongoing book project on human rights, we analyze a set of 1172 different rights found in national constitutions. The rights index indicates the number of these rights found in any particular constitution.

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