New resource for constitutional law students

By | 10 May 2010

HeinOnline has a new library called World Constitutions.

Home page for HeinOnline's World Constitutions

They promise that it will ” … contain the current constitution of every country in the world in its original language. For countries where multiple original-language versions exist, we will provide each one. Also included will be at least one English translation.” And also that it will have “… the source documents for every historical constitution for every country. As historical documents are identified, they will be added to the constitutional timeline for each country. Documents identified but not yet acquired will be listed to provide a documentary history of the constitution’s development. For every constitutional document, researchers will find the original text, amending laws, consolidated text, and important related texts. We will also link you to scholarly articles and commentary, and provide a bibliography of select constitutional books available elsewhere.”

To browse by country, click on the top blue button called World Constitutions. This reveals a list of the names all the countries, you have to click the name you want to find exactly what goodies are in store. So trying out the UK – famously without a formal written constitution- you find

UK Constitution home page

The laws run from the Charter of Liberties of Henry I to 2009, c.11 the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act. (An asterisk claims  “Most  current consolidated documents” against various acts – but I think I would double-check this.)
Clicking on the + expands the list, which I  have done for the Commentaries section so that you can see that Blackstone is there. But remember the US slant of HeinOnline: this is an American edition of Blackstone: Oxford reading lists will be to a different edition. When you expand the “Scholarly articles chosen by our Editors” in UK constitution, there are articles from Legal Studies and the Cambridge Law Journal, as well as a handful of US titles. This should be very useful in gathering together the “big guns” for you even if they happen to have  published in journals which would not normally feature in your top dozen.

Of course the site is not limited to finding things by browsing: HeinOnline has both a field search option screen for those who are grateful for a bit of  prompting (via drop down menus) when it comes to constructing searches (to the left below), and an Advanced Search Screen (to the right below) for the experienced Boolean searcher,  as well as basic search.

Field Search

Advanced Search Screen

Yes, HeinOnline really does hope to develop “..  the greatest constitutional collection in the world.” And to achieve this they are asking for contributions (articles, recommendations of sources etc) and volunteers to be “Country Editor.”

One thought on “New resource for constitutional law students

  1. Pingback: Constitutional Law Expert Erwin Chemerinsky | legal-legal

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