The old adage goes “Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” what often goes unsaid is the opposite to this notion, the idea that those who do not learn from history can also repeat the successful decisions. For the first time in history, our society has finally reached a point where information about our history and legal precedent that we can finally do more than just avoid our mistakes, we can actively shape the future based on what worked in the past.
Like any other plan, the most important phase is planning. For brand new democracies and Sovereign Nations, this involves drafting a constitution. As the world becomes increasingly complicated, the need for a single document outlining the nation’s values becomes all the more critical to long-term success. Even staunch dictatorships need to have some basic concept guiding their philosophy and values, assuring that agency leaders and lesser authorities are consistently acting in a manner that is deemed moral by the local power.
While the field of constitutional law and constitution building is relatively new it is no less important. This has been the founding principles behind the work of Sujit Choudhry’s Center for Constitutional Transitions (constitutionaltransitions.org). This organization understands the sheer importance of starting out right based on what we know from history. A strong constitution that addresses the concerns of the people will reassure them and help the nation thrive.
The way Sujit Choudhry achieve this goal is by generating as much knowledge and historical expertise as possible in the field of constitutional history and law. By combining diverse mindsets and experience comprised of international scholars and experts, the organization is able to provide consulting services to new nations, helping them set the agenda and their plans the future. To date, Choudhry’s organization has worked with 50 different constitutional experts in 25 different countries, with more work planned in the future. More on blogs.law.nyu.edu.
Just because you are doomed to repeat your history does not mean that you must always take the worst pieces. With the right mindset, and a diverse set of views we can finally take the best of all wheelchairs and combine them based on their merit and historical success.
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