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Colonial Past and Constitutional Momentum: The Case of Iceland

Author(s): Ágúst Þór Árnason

Journal: Nordicum-Mediterraneum
ISSN 1670-6242

Volume: 8;
Issue: 2;
Start page: A1;
Date: 2013;
Original page

Keywords: Constitutionalism | Constitutional State | Constitutional Moment | Constitutional Covenant | Constitutional Assembly | National Forum | Colonial Past | Financial Crisis | Bank Crisis

In June 2010, nearly two years after the world-wide financial crisis of 2008 hit Iceland, the Icelandic Parliament passed an act on a Constitutional Assembly. Even if no one has succeeded to show any direct connections between the financial crisis and the provisions and the function of the constitution of 1944, loud voices did claim that Icelanders were fortunately faced with a “constitutional moment” and, subsequently, an opportunity to change the nation’s political as well as economic life; something people were ethically obligated to make use of. With no better justified or defined reasons for such an all-inclusive revision, however, it is a worth-while undertaking to take a closer look at the notion of a constitutional moment, and see if that can help us to understand why the Republic of Iceland should abolish its founding constitution without a preceding thorough analysis of its functional failures.
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