Iraqi constitutionalism (one day, Iraqi time, to go)

Mary Dudziak mdudziak at law.usc.edu
Sun Aug 14 11:08:15 PDT 2005


Yes, there was a continuing occupation.  I don't believe it was 
contemplated that self-government would immediately follow.  But the 
constitution was a crucial part of the path toward self-government 
b/c of its prohibition on the use of armed force.  Also, Mark Tushnet 
is absolutely right to point out that there were previous liberal 
constitutional traditions in Japan, and that's an important part of 
the story.   As I understand it -- and please correct me if I'm wrong 
-- the earlier history is thought to be important to the 
constitution's durability over time, in spite of the rather 
undemocratic nature of its adoption.  But in contemporary Japanese 
constitutional politics, one argument reformers will make for change 
is that the constitution is illegitimate b/c it was the product of 
occupation.  I don't know how widespread or how convincing these 
sorts of arguments are.

Mary

At 08:38 AM 8/14/2005, Paul Finkelman wrote:
>Mary clearly you know more about this than I do, and I am on the 
>road and cannot do any research, but my recollection was that the US 
>continued to run Japan until 1949 and so any "constitution" would 
>not have had much affect on running the country. Please correct this if wrong.
>paul finkelman
>
>Mary Dudziak wrote:
>>I've only dipped in occasionally on these posts, so sorry if this 
>>has been gone over before.  To answer Lynne's question re: Japan, 
>>Gen. Douglas MacArthur gave his U.S. Army staff a week to write a 
>>constitution for Japan, which was then given to the Japanese, who 
>>were pressured by the U.S. to adopt it.  This is discussed 
>>beautifully in John Dower, Embracing Defeat:  Japan in the Wake of 
>>World War II.  So -- yes, there was a short time limit, but for 
>>other more glaring reasons, the experience in Japan is not what we 
>>want to repeat in Iraq.
>>
>>Mary Dudziak
>>
>>At 05:53 PM 8/13/2005, Lynne Henderson wrote:
>>>Again, I ask a question I have asked earlier--did we set time 
>>>limits on Japan and Germany in writing their constitutions after 
>>>WWII? (These seem to me to be the most comparable, as  the U.S. 
>>>was victorious  and occupying at least part of  the countries 
>>>involved),   The Germans certainly had some experience with a 
>>>written constitution and may have been up to speed, but for the 
>>>Japanese, a constitution in the Western sense was a new concept 
>>>and way of thinking.  It is ironic that our government seems ot 
>>>think "democracy", "freedom," and constitutions just are obvious 
>>>to anyone and easily accomplished.
>>>Respectfully, I don't think publicity has much to do with  the 
>>>problems in drafting an Iraqi consttitution--unless there is far 
>>>more coverage of the negotiations in the Iraqi press than I am 
>>>aware of. (Although perhaps the return to religious law and its 
>>>implications for women has caused problems, and an analogy might 
>>>be drawn to our own founder's eliding the issue of slavery, the 
>>>real issues--women's issues are *never* decisive  in history thus 
>>>far--are "federalism" and the power of the Kurds and Shi'ites over 
>>>the the Sunni and economy . . . .) The coverage in this 
>>>country  hasn't exactly been prominent, except for brief mentions 
>>>of the President said X, the US said Y , the ambassador is 
>>>pressuring and making suggestions, etc.
>>>
>>>Lynne Henderson
>>>
>>>Prof. Lynne Henderson
>>>
>>>On Aug 13, 2005, at 4:17 PM, guayiya wrote:
>>>
>>>>I am reminded of Madison's remark that had the Convention not 
>>>>been secret, no Constitution would have emerged.  Are the media 
>>>>and our gossip making a Founding myth impossible?
>>>>Daniel Hoffman
>>>>
>>>>Sanford Levinson wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> From tomorrow's New York Times.  Again, I ask why the US 
>>>>> considers Monday a "sacred" date.  Is it because of 1) a sober 
>>>>> belief that it is truly best for the Iraqis to rush toward some 
>>>>> gerry-built incomplete "constitution" or 2) the deserate desire 
>>>>> of the Bush Administration to declare that "progress is being 
>>>>> made"?  Unfortunately, I view this as a rhetorical 
>>>>> question.  Does anyone seriously believe that 1) is the correct answer?
>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>>sandy
>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>
>>>>>
>>><br>
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>>
>>Mary L. Dudziak
>>Judge Edward J. and Ruey L. Guirado Professor of Law, History and 
>>Political Science
>>University of Southern California Law School
>>Los Angeles, CA   90089-0071
>>phone:  213.740.4789
>>fax:  213.740.5502
>>e-mail:  <mailto:mdudziak at law.usc.edu>mdudziak at law.usc.edu
>>
>>
>>
>>
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>
>
>
>--
>Paul Finkelman
>Chapman Distinguished Professor of Law
>University of Tulsa College of Law
>3120 East 4th Place
>Tulsa, OK  74105
>
>918-631-3706 (voice)
>918-631-2194 (fax)
>
><mailto:Paul-Finkelman at utulsa.edu>Paul-Finkelman at utulsa.edu
>

Mary L. Dudziak
Judge Edward J. and Ruey L. Guirado Professor of Law, History and 
Political Science
University of Southern California Law School
Los Angeles, CA   90089-0071
phone:  213.740.4789
fax:  213.740.5502
e-mail:  mdudziak at law.usc.edu 
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