Chapter 19: The judicialization of politics?
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During the second half of the twentieth century a notable shift occurred in the balance of formal legal power between legislators and judges across the globe. This expansion of judicial power was identified and critiqued as a “judicialization of politics” or described as the emergence of a “juristocracy”. While acknowledging this trend, this Chapter argues that a New Legal Realist approach, which combines the acknowledgment of increased judicial power with an understanding of the inherent institutional limitations of courts as well as an empirical understanding of historical developments that undergirded this rise in judicial power, might provide a more nuanced view of judicialization. Finally, the chapter concludes that given the recent rise of populism and authoritarian politics around the world there is no guarantee that any shift in power is permanent. This perspective thus questions the notion of a simply expanding juristocracy.

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