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Wen-Chen Chang and Yi-Li Lee

This chapter examines the dynamics of having a constitutional court separate from the ordinary appellate structure of a court system, using South Korea and Taiwan as comparative case studies. The authors open by examining the differences that choices of institutional design, appointment mechanisms, and contextual dynamics make in the development of systems of constitutional review. They find that notwithstanding a clear jurisdictional distinction, tension nevertheless emerges between the Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court in South Korea, whereas in Taiwan, where there is not a clear division of jurisdiction, the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court, and Supreme Administrative Court have collaborated. This chapter concludes by suggesting that institutional design, appointment mechanisms and contextual dynamics are the key to explaining the competitive or collaborative power configurations among multiple top courts.