LL4Z6      Half Unit
Comparative Constitutional Law

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Jo Murkens NAB7.31


This course is available on the LLM (extended part-time), LLM (full-time) and University of Pennsylvania Law School LLM Visiting Students. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

This course is capped at 30 students. Students must apply through Graduate Course Choice on LSEforYou.

Course content

Comparative Constitutional Law is a rejuvenated discipline that attracts a broad range of interdisciplinary interest in the formation, design, and operation of constitutions. This course examines the central issues across a range of jurisdictions and from a variety of perspectives. Part I discusses various approaches to the study of CCL as well as the migration of constitutional ideas and related notions of constitutional borrowing and legal transplants. Part II deals with key constitutional concepts, such as fundamental law, constitutional change, and rule of law, which are discussed from a historical and comparative perspective. Part III deals with constitutional design, a classic as well as topical area of comparative law. As well as offering a critique of mainstream liberal thought that idealises constitutions as normative constraints on politics, these sessions examine whether formal constitutions in divided and authoritarian societies facilitate democratisation and political change or whether they undermine democracy and entrench the rulers. The study of law, like the study of all social phenomea, is always comparative - and inevitably fragmented. This objective of the course is to study comparative constitutional law comprehensively, critically, and contextually (historical, conceptual, regional). This approach enables the student to branch out independently into related areas and topics.


20 hours of seminars in the MT. 2 hours of seminars in the ST.

Formative coursework

One 2,000 word essay.

Indicative reading

There is not set book for this course. All materials will be made available in advance on Moodle.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the summer exam period.

Key facts

Department: Law

Total students 2018/19: 17

Average class size 2018/19: 18

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Communication
  • Specialist skills