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 3: The changing understanding of judicial legitimacy

Or Bassok

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


Dr. Or Bassok, Max Weber Fellow , EUI. This chapter discusses how the rise of public opinion polls has changed the understanding of the idea of legitimacy of courts in the United States. Sociological institutional court legitimacy is designed to describe the enduring public support for courts. According to the author public opinion polls have made it possible to measure such support thus strengthening the legitimacy of the US Supreme Court. Furthermore, this chapter includes comparative studies of the role of public support in courts as regards the Israeli Supreme Court and the South African Constitutional Court.

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