Constitutional Moments in Autocratic States

The ‘constitutional moment’ presently defined is a revolutionary event characterised by intense constitutional participation by the government and the people that evokes a remarkable change in law, with or without amendment to the founding document’s text. The theory by nature assumes a democratic state as the foundational setting within which these constitutional moments occur. Subsequent scholarship affirms this understanding or rejects outright the idea that such a moment could occur in an autocratic state. However, as this work will argue, these ‘moments’ can exist in autocracies as well, albeit with a different appearance. The present definition neglects popular protests within autocracies that call for the implementation of the rule of law and human rights, which have become more active in the present era of democratic backsliding and autocratic growth. Utilising a comparative framework, this work will contribute new insight to understanding constitutional law in autocracies.