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Juha Lavapuro, Tuomas Ojanen and Martin Scheinin

Chapter 5 on Finland (‘Intermediate constitutional review in Finland: promising in theory, problematic in practice’) offers the perspective of a Nordic system. Although its legal culture is based on the civil law tradition, the Finnish system arguably lends itself to relevant parallels with the new Commonwealth model of constitutionalism. Authors Juha Lavapuro, Tuomas Ojanen and Martin Scheinin explain the developments—notably Finland joining the EU and the Strasbourg system as well as other domestic constitutional reforms—which resulted in a shift from a centralized legislative-based constitutionalism to an institutionally pluralist and predominantly rights-based paradigm. However, they also argue that this shift has fallen short of materializing into fully-fledged constitutionalism. In that respect, the Finnish system stands as a ‘peculiar example of intermediate constitutionalism’ characterized by a tension between old doctrines and institutions which emphasize the legislative supremacy of Parliament—with an intact prohibition of judicial review of legislation—and a new paradigm which underline the importance of rights and the role of courts. The authors then question the extent to which the Finnish system offers a genuine third alternative of constitutional review. Indeed, the transformation of the system has resulted in institutional confusion—with the main constitutional actors missing a clear understanding of their role—rather than led to a meaningful constitutional dialogue between the courts and the legislature.
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Edited by Martin Scheinin, Helle Krunke and Marina Aksenova

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Edited by Martin Scheinin, Helle Krunke and Marina Aksenova

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Edited by Martin Scheinin, Helle Krunke and Marina Aksenova

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Edited by Martin Scheinin, Helle Krunke and Marina Aksenova

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Edited by Martin Scheinin, Helle Krunke and Marina Aksenova

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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.
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Helle Krunke and Martin Scheinin

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?
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Martin Scheinin

This chapter addresses one of the most important questions for the methodology of human rights law, both as a social practice and as a scholarly discipline, namely how to interpret the provisions of human rights treaties, many of which are seemingly vague or open-ended as texts. The author defends the view that there is a proper methodology for legal interpretation, understood as giving specific and concrete meaning to those texts. Even if different scholars or different lawyers may sometimes end up defending differing interpretations, the interpretive activity of each of them can be assessed for the correctness of its methodology and ultimately also for the correctness of the answer arrived at.