In the United States, we have a problem where a certain individual continues to flout long-held common convention, safeguards against autocratization, and even several very old and cherished laws that don't have effective means of enforcement or punishments attached. Many people argue that to codify the conventions or provide enforcement/penalties to the laws would excessively limit the position's ability to function effectively.

Are there any countries that have managed to bolster their long-held convention, democratic safeguards, and/or constitutional laws that do not excessively burden the ability of the executive to continue its normal tasks and do not contribute to autocratization or destruction of the rule of law? And how did they do it?

  • 1
    I think this is about politics, not law. Nov 23, 2020 at 16:55
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    I’m voting to close this question because it should be migrated to politics.stackexchange.com
    – Ryan M
    Nov 24, 2020 at 12:21
  • @RyanM So the Law Stack isn't about the creation (and effectiveness) of laws, just the utilization of said laws by lawyers and the judiciary?
    – Carduus
    Nov 24, 2020 at 13:58
  • I think it's a close call here. I think this is a good question, but one that would get better answers on Politics. If it didn't end up being a good fit on Politics, I'd vote to reopen it here.
    – Ryan M
    Nov 24, 2020 at 18:39

2 Answers 2


Well Britain has parliament and the judiciary and a common law that has developed through precedent. It doesn't have a written constitution as the US does.

However, it's taken roughly a thousand years for Parliament to evolve to this stage from the Kings council first held after William the Conquerer conquered England and then much later a civil war, which was our revolution, that established the supremacy of Parliament - eventually. It was a rocky road.

This is why I look askance at glib pronouncements at exporting democracy to the Middle East. If it happens there, it will happen organically, and most likely take a different course than here - as in the Arab Spring.


After the experiences of Nazi rule, Germany wrote Article 20(4) in the constitution:

All Germans shall have the right to resist any person seek­ing to abolish this constitutional order if no other remedy is available.

This right prevents the excuse of many German soldiers and officials after WWII, "but I took an oath on the Führer, I had to follow orders." The rub, of course, is that a person seeking to abolish the constitutional order who is currently in power will claim that the article does not apply, and that such resistance is in fact an unlawful attempt to overthrow the constitutional order (with them on top). Still, Article 20 might prompt more Germans to resist than it would be otherwise.

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