Restorative Constitutionalism

Restorative constitutional change can take numerous forms: It can involve the formal replacement of a constitution, formal constitutional amendment, the repeal or amendment of quasi-constitutional legislation, or new approaches to judicial interpretation. It can also be both an actual mode of change, and a rhetorical source of justification or legislation. The practice of restorative constitutionalism also involves an interesting set of normative questions. In many constitutional orders, it is obvious that a restorative framing has great rhetorical power. But the practice also raises dangers: one concern is that a restorative framing may unduly limit or inhibit constitutional imagination. Another is that it may become a cover for “abusive” constitutional change. The language of “restoration”, therefore, should be carefully scrutinised to determine its capacity to achieve truly pro-democratic change.