Table of Contents

Judges as Guardians of Constitutionalism and Human Rights

Judges as Guardians of Constitutionalism and Human Rights

Edited by Martin Scheinin, Helle Krunke and Marina Aksenova

This book considers the many challenges that national and supranational judges have to face when fulfilling their roles as guardians of constitutionalism and human rights. The contributors, both academics and judges, discuss key examples of contemporary challenges to judging – including the nature of courts’ legitimacy and its alleged dependence on public support; the role of judges in upholding constitutional values in the times of transition to democracy, surveillance and the fight against terrorism; and the role of international judges in guaranteeing globally recognized fundamental rights and freedoms.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Helle Krunke and Martin Scheinin

Subjects: law - academic, constitutional and administrative law, criminal law and justice, human rights, law and society


Professor Helle Krunke, Head of Centre for Comparative and European Constitutional Studies, University of Copenhagen, and Professor Martin Scheinin, International Law and Human Rights, EUI. The introduction sets out the purpose of the book namely to discuss the challenges which courts face for instance as a result of counter-terrorism measures, the surveillance state and democratic transitions with a specific emphasis on diversity both geographical and institutional. Another aim of the book is to facilitate a dialogue between judges in different settings (national, regional and international courts) around the world and academics. This way the book actively engages in and promotes the process of constitutional dialogue. Chapter 1 focusses on some common themes which transgress the different book sections and chapters: Judicial independence, the role of the public opinion and court legitimacy, interpretative techniques, hierarchy of norms, difficulties of transition and the judiciary in the specific context – from exceptionalism to common standards?