Crowdsourcing for Constitutional Interpretation

Well aware of the reservations of Aristophanes, Plato, Aristotle and Montesquieu to the participation of the people in the judiciary and the reflections of Hamilton and Madison on judicial review, this paper advocates the need of updating and contextualising their opinions in the era of the network society. The paper adopts a historical methodology and reviews several examples of popular participation in constitutional interpretation. It also employs experimental philosophy to work out the possibility of crowdsourcing including le pouvoir constituent dérivé, i.e. giving direct constitutional interpretation to the people.
The paper further addresses the opportunities and risks that this method poses in the present-day. In order to minimise the risks, the last part of the paper analyses the substantive, formal, technical and temporal limits of the practice of crowdsourcing constitutional interpretation.