Comparative Constitutional Law
Course code
old course code
Course title in Estonian
Võrdlev riigiõigus
Course title in English
Comparative Constitutional Law
ECTS credits
approximate amount of contact lessons
Teaching semester
Assessment form
lecturer of 2019/2020  Autumn semester
õppejõud on määramata
lecturer of 2019/2020  Spring semester
lecturer not assigned
Course aims
The objective of the course is to introduce students to legal and structural elements relating to Constitutional Law in various countries so as to compare the relative advantages and disadvantages of various constitutional systems as related to the establishment and function of various constitutional systems.
The objective is also to initiate students into legal science, i.e., the study of the rule of law and various Constitutional systems used to achieve that end.
The students will learn basic knowledge, concepts and terminology that are needed for the understanding of modern constitutional forms and their function.
Brief description of the course
Law as a normative order; the rule of law, constitutional governments as institutions and practices (law-making, courts and adjudication, establishment and amendment of constitutional institutions and substantive law, legal science); law as a societal phenomenon; constitutional legal systems; sources of constitutional law; legal science, structure and history of constitutional structures.
Independent work
Compulsory reading assignments including case briefs, legislation and scholarly articles to be read before lectures and seminars, as assigned by the lecturer and detailed in the course program.
Other tasks may include case analysis, written seminar papers, presentations, independent or group work as detailed in the course program.
Learning outcomes in the course
After a successful completion of the course, a student:
¤ Masters basic Constitutional terminology;
¤ Understands the basic functions in modern Constitutional systems of government;
¤ Understands the difference between different legal systems as well as branches of law;
¤ Grasps the nature of main functions of Constitutional governments and the relationship between legislation and Constitutional law
¤ Understand the comparative nature of the law and the nature of its significance in terms of constitutional structures and functions;
¤ Explain the differences in the constitutions from different legal systems;
¤ Is able to compare the different constitutional systems.
Assessment methods
Written exam.
Other methods as detailed by the lecturer in the course program, including individual or group problem solving exercises, case presentations/analysis, a term or scholarly paper, and attendance and participation in seminar discussions.
William Burns
Study literature
„The Rule of Law“ by Tom Bingham published by Penguin, copyright 2010, ISBN 978-0-14103453-9;
During the course we will use selected cases and readings to be designated by the instructor from Comparative Constitutional Law, second addition by Jackson and Tushnet published by foundation press, ISBN-13: 978-1-5877-6, Publishing.
Constitution of the United States of America
Constitution of the Republic Estonia
Constitution of the Republic of France
Constitution of the Switzerland
Constitution of the Russian Federation
Constitution of the Republic of Finland
Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789)
Constitution of the Federal Republic of Germany
Constitution of the Republic of France
Magna Carta
Additional selected cases and materials to be provided to students by the lecturer.
Replacement literature
Modern Constitutional Law by R. Rotunda, ISBN-10: 0314168648 published by West