Journal Article

Aversive constitutionalism in the Westminster world: The genesis of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act (1990)

David Erdos

in International Journal of Constitutional Law

Published on behalf of The New York University School of Law

Volume 5, issue 2, pages 343-369
Published in print April 2007 | ISSN: 1474-2640
Published online April 2007 | e-ISSN: 1474-2659 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icon/mom001
Aversive constitutionalism in the Westminster world: The genesis of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act (1990)

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This article provides a new explanation of the genesis and nature of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act of 1990. The existing literature generally sees the adoption of bills of rights as an effort to entrench the policy preferences of electorally endangered political constituencies; the New Zealand case has been offered as a prime example of this dynamic. This article demonstrates that the facts of the case do not fit the dominant model. A new “aversive” perspective on the constitutionalization of rights in established democracies is presented, which focuses on three key factors in determining outcomes: the reaction of political elites to prior negative political experiences, structures that allow constitutional entrepreneurs to function, and background cultural factors.

Journal Article.  12473 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law ; UK Politics

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