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Constitutions of the Countries of the World

Head of Section:

Rainer Grote

About the Project:

The Max Planck Institute has been editing the series Constitutions of the Countries of the World (CCW) since 2005. The series which was originally established by Professor em. Gisbert Flanz from NYU in cooperation with Oceana Publications in 1971 contains the texts of the constitutions of all independent national jurisdictions of the world plus additional materials – an introduction into the basic structure of the constitution, a constitutional chronology and a select bibliography – which allow the reader to quickly grasp the main issues and principles of the relevant national constitution. Each year eight to nine booklets are published which each update the constitutional materials for three different national jurisdictions.

With the acquisition of Oceana by Oxford University Press in 2006, the series has become part of the Oxford University Press constitutional law publications. In 2011 the Institute for International and Comparative Law in Africa of the University of Pretoria took over the editorial responsibility for the African constitutions in the series.

Since 2013 the relevant texts are published in electronic form on the constitutional law platform of OUP Oxford Constitutions of the World ( 

The introductory notes to the constitutional texts give particular weight to the historical and comparative dimensions of the respective national constitutions. To this end, they examine not only the text of the relevant constitutional provisions and principles, but also take into account the factors – history, politics, economy – which have shaped their application in practice. They also put the national constitutional traditions into a regional and international perspective by assessing how they fit in with emerging constitutional trends at the regional as well as the global level.

In many countries newly created or comprehensively reformed constitutional courts and tribunals have emerged as central players with the mission to effectively enforce the limits as well as the positive obligations imposed by the constitution on the political branches of government and the administration. The series therefore not only includes the laws governing the function of national constitutional courts, but also analyses the scope of their powers and the manner in which they have contributed, by virtue of their case law, to the shaping of the structure and the principles of national constitutional law.