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Memoria e Ricerca

Reassessing the Concept of Constitutional Model: The Bavarian Constitution of 1818 – a Case Study

di Markus J. Prutsch
in Memoria e Ricerca n.s. 35 (2010), p. 31

The basic aim of this article is to highlight the role of legal transfer in European Post-Napoleonic constitutionalism. The “model-effect” of the Charte constitutionnelle as a prototype of “monarchical constitutionalism” will be analysed by focusing on one practical example, namely the Bavarian Constitution of 1818, which is generally seen as a “derivative” of the 1814 French Constitution. Such an understanding, however, does tend to be biased. Based on results from both comparative history and transfer research, the actual relevance of the French and other contemporary constitutions for Bavaria is evaluated, thus providing an analytical basis to gain further insight into the nature, scope and limits of constitutional transfer and reception at a more general level. In conclusion, existing concepts of constitutional “models” are questioned and the need to reassess the approach to transfer history is stressed both with regard to its methodology and content.