A Website With the World’s Constitutions

Shortly after being disappointed that Oxford’s Constitutions of the World wanted money from me — my university background and the ethic of free knowledge can’t be taken out of the boy, it seems — I learn about Constitute. Here, too, are the world’s constitutions, but absent any fee.

Now, Constitute doesn’t promise to update according to a schedule (they claim they’re up-to-date as of September 2013), and though all the constitutions I’ve had a quick look at are set out in English, there’s no indication of how or by whom they were translated from their original language, this is still a possibly useful first tool in some circumstances. You can browse by country or — and this will be neat when it gets developed — by issues that cut across constitutions.

And, thanks to Google money, things will get bigger and better, they promise:

Currently Constitute has every constitution that was in force in September of 2013 for every independent state in the world. Soon we will include data and text for a version of every available constitution ever written since 1789.

But guess what? They’re lacking Canada’s constitution. (I’ve looked twice, searched, maybe I’m missing something.) Maybe we’re not an independent state? Maybe we don’t have a constitution? I’m used to Canada’s being ignored in most contexts — we’re truly the Brigadoon of countries — but this is plumb silly. Slaw stands ready to help out. Listening Google?

[Hat tip: @SusanDelacourt]


  1. Let’s not forget a previous posting from Slaw discussing the first”crowd-sourced” Constitution as Iceland proposes further constitutional changes through public input by way of Twitter and Facebook. I especially like the proposed changes to Iceland’s equality Article 6, written by the Constitutional Council, which adds there shall be no discrimination on the basis of “genotype,” “financial position,” or “political affiliation.” That proposed Constitutional Bill is found here.
    Maybe the Constitute website will include proposed changes as well?

  2. I’m able to find Canada in the listing, and it indicates there are 5 documents under that heading.
    However, I can’t see what it contains because,

    Search and refinement functionality is available only to logged in users.

  3. It wasn’t there when I checked. I swear.

    And now I learn from a correspondent that, indeed, they “have trouble” with multi-document constitutions. We are, it seems, pas comme les autres indeed.