Following the anti-extremism and anti-human-trafficking online networks launched by Google earlier this year, the tech giant is rolling out a new online humanitarian project, Constitute, which is a searchable archive of fundamental sets of laws of 160 countries of the world. The project was launched on September 23 under the banner of Google Ideas, the branch which had given a grant to the Comparative Constitutions and made this initiative possible.
The site hosts 160 constitutions in force as of September 2013, which can be filtered by countries, by date and by 350 tagged topics as diverse as citizenship, religion, political parties, foreign policy, social, civil and political rights. It will soon be updated with earlier versions of every available constitution written since 1789.
The “Constitute” is positioned as an open source both for those discovering more about refinements of political identity of various states and those engaged in drafting new constitutions for their own countries. “The people who write these important documents need to read and analyze texts from other places. Constitute offers access to the world’s constitutions that users can systematically compare them across a broad set of topics,” the site writes.
What the site may be lacking is short “Did you know?” facts that are displayed on the loading page—the blogpost with the announcement features some of them. For instance, it says that every year approximately five new constitutions are written, 20-30 are amended or revised, and Africa has the youngest set of constitutions—19 out of the 39 constitutions have been composed globally from the continent since 2000.