In 1957, Colombia's ruling Military Junta issued a decree mandating a
national referendum concerning a series of changes to the country's
Constitution of 1886, including, in line with a cross-party pact, a
provision mandating equal division of congressional seats between Liberal
and Conservative parties until 1968. This chapter focuses on the Supreme
Court of Justice's response to a challenge brought in 1957, arguing the
decree was inconsistent with the 1886 Constitution. A majority in the Court
determined that it did not possess the jurisdiction to invalidate the
Military Junta's decree, as the Constitution's provisions did not grant the
Court jurisdiction review the validity of constitutional amendments. The
chapter examines the majority and dissenting judgment of the Supreme Court
of Justice, situating the decision within its historical context, outlining
the Court's role in the creation of a new constitutional regime, and
charting its effects on subsequent Colombian case law on the review of
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