Keywords: Ancient Greek Law; Ancient Democracy; Constitutional Law; Deliberative Democracy.
The democratic experience of ancient Greece has always been a reservoir to draw from when debating on democracy and especially on its present crisis. But what can the Athenian democracy of the 5th and 4th centuries b.c.e. teach us regarding the problem of constitutional stability? Was the principle of the supremacy of the will of the people - deeply ingrained in the minds of the radical democrats - compatible with the building of mechanisms to ensure some form of constitutional control? In this paper I argue that the most remote roots of constitutionalism based on the control exercised by constitutional courts are to be found in the oligarchic thought rather than in the democratic one.