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Comparative Study of Social Transformative Practices, Its Outreach and Meanings Extracted from The Brazilian and South African Constitutions

Researcher name: Élida Lauris

This research project addresses the dilemmas between authority and recognition, conservative and transformative uses and meanings of the state constitution and its outreach. Taking as start point, the processes of state reconstruction in Brazil – that culminated in the promulgation of 1988 Brazilian constitution and in South Africa – resulting in the 1996 constitution, the main goal of this project is to scrutinise the application and the vindication of constitutional principles and norms as well as the co-construction of the social meaning-making practices towards constitutional values. The framework of analysis is organized into two research axes. The first axis is — transformative constitutional hermeneutics, focusing on the study of how constitutional courts and judges handle the challenge of adjusting the constitution application and interpretation to the re-foundation purpose written in the State-constitutions. The second axis approaches Boaventura de Sousa Santos´ conceptual category of subaltern cosmopolitan legality. The main objective is to develop a bottom-up analysis of the vindication of constitutional norms and principles, constitutional uses and meanings that follow this collective action.

Keywords: Transformative Constitutionalism, Constitutional Hermeneutics, Judicial Review, Judicialization of Politics, Legal Mobilization, Separation of Powers
Countries of reference: Brazil, South Africa