Comparative Judicial Review
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Comparative Judicial Review

Edited by Erin F. Delaney and Rosalind Dixon

Constitutional courts around the world play an increasingly central role in day-to-day democratic governance. Yet scholars have only recently begun to develop the interdisciplinary analysis needed to understand this shift in the relationship of constitutional law to politics. This edited volume brings together the leading scholars of constitutional law and politics to provide a comprehensive overview of judicial review, covering theories of its creation, mechanisms of its constraint, and its comparative applications, including theories of interpretation and doctrinal developments. This book serves as a single point of entry for legal scholars and practitioners interested in understanding the field of comparative judicial review in its broader political and social context.
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Chapter 4: Comparative constitutional law as a window on democratic institutions

Samuel Issacharoff


This chapter approaches comparative constitutional law from a court-centered perspective rather than a rights-oriented perspective. The author discusses the role of new constitutional courts in forestalling a return to an autocratic past and in acting as the handmaidens of a new democratic order, by considering court creation in a broad swath of European countries and South Africa. The chapter pays particular attention to the specific role that the Constitutional Court in South Africa played in moving the country from a provisional to a final constitution. Next, the author reviews the role of constitutional courts in new democracies in aiding quick transitions to basic democratic governance before constitutional drafters are able to reach full agreement on and flesh out the specifics of constitutional compromise. Finally, the chapter assesses how courts in Argentina, Columbia, South Africa, Germany, India, and Israel have survived confrontations with political power with varying success.

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