Unamendability is a growing constitutional trend. But is it compatible with democratic values? Does unamendability force future generations into a necrocracy, the ‘dead hand’ grip of those that wrote the constitution? Does it place too much power in the hands of the judiciary? Can institutions face modern democratic challenges without the flexibility to amend the nation's constitution?
A constitution is supposed to reflect the values of a society at a given time. An unamendable constitution binds future generations to past values, thereby reducing their democratic influence.
Democracy to necrocracy
Forcing future generations to be governed by the 'dead hand' of their founding fathers drags a democracy into a necrocracy.
The judicial branch holds all the power
The judicial branch becomes a legislative gatekeeper by effectively interpreting a dated constitution and applying that interpretation to modern legislation.
When the electorate cannot achieve constitutional reform through democratic means, they are more likely to pursue violent means of political change.
Reducing constituents' democratic powers generates apathy and reduced democratic participation.
Unamendable constitutions strengthen democracy by protecting citizens from a bad political actor in government.
An unamendable constitution protects democracy from bad political actors.
Voters keep primary constituent powers
There is nothing stopping governments from writing a new constitution.
Reduces social divisions
Unamendable constitutional elements reduce social tensions and political division.
Democracy is more than a process
Democracy also involves protecting individual rights and personal freedoms. An unamendable constitution offers these protections.
The question has no relevance because states already bound to an unamendable constitution have no alternative at this point.
There is no alternative
For states that already have an unamendable constitution, there is no alternative. Therefore, the question is pointless as it has no practical application.
This page was last edited on Wednesday, 15 Jan 2020 at 15:49 UTC