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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law [MPECCoL]

Autochthonous Constitutions

Peter C Oliver

Subject(s):
Constitutional interpretation — Form and substance of constitution — Principles and objectives of constitutions — Types of constitutions — Comparative constitutional law

Published under the direction of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law.
General Editors: Rainer Grote, Frauke Lachenmann, Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1. ‘Autochthony’ refers to the fact that a constitution is, legally speaking, ‘home grown’ or rooted in native soil. By this it is meant that the constitution owes its validity and authority to local legal factors, rather than to the fact of enactment by a foreign legal process ( Wheare 89 ). Autochthony was especially important to countries which achieved independence from the former British Empire ( colonization ; decolonization ). 2. As originally set out by KC Wheare, constitutional autochthony required that there be no legal continuity between the formerly...
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