Towards Juristocracy: The Origins and Consequences of the New Constitutionalism / Edition 1

Towards Juristocracy: The Origins and Consequences of the New Constitutionalism / Edition 1

by Ran Hirschl
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0674025474

ISBN-13: 9780674025479

Pub. Date: 09/15/2007

Publisher: Harvard

In countries and supranational entities around the globe, constitutional reform has transferred an unprecedented amount of power from representative institutions to judiciaries. The constitutionalization of rights and the establishment of judicial review are widely believed to have benevolent and progressive origins, and significant redistributive, power-diffusing

Overview

In countries and supranational entities around the globe, constitutional reform has transferred an unprecedented amount of power from representative institutions to judiciaries. The constitutionalization of rights and the establishment of judicial review are widely believed to have benevolent and progressive origins, and significant redistributive, power-diffusing consequences. Ran Hirschl challenges this conventional wisdom.

Drawing upon a comprehensive comparative inquiry into the political origins and legal consequences of the recent constitutional revolutions in Canada, Israel, New Zealand, and South Africa, Hirschl shows that the trend toward constitutionalization is hardly driven by politicians' genuine commitment to democracy, social justice, or universal rights. Rather, it is best understood as the product of a strategic interplay among hegemonic yet threatened political elites, influential economic stakeholders, and judicial leaders. This self-interested coalition of legal innovators determines the timing, extent, and nature of constitutional reforms.

Hirschl demonstrates that whereas judicial empowerment through constitutionalization has a limited impact on advancing progressive notions of distributive justice, it has a transformative effect on political discourse. The global trend toward juristocracy, Hirschl argues, is part of a broader process whereby political and economic elites, while they profess support for democracy and sustained development, attempt to insulate policymaking from the vicissitudes of democratic politics.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674025479
Publisher:
Harvard
Publication date:
09/15/2007
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
296
Product dimensions:
6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction

1. Four Constitutional Revolutions

2. The Political Origins of Constitutionalization

3. Hegemonic Preservation in Action

4. Constitutionalization and Judicial Interpretation of Rights

5. Rights and Realities

6. Constitutionalization and the Judicialization of Mega-Politics

Conclusion: The Road to Juristocracy and the Limits of Constitutionalization

Notes

Legal Decisions Cited

Acknowledgments

Index

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