Towards Juristocracy The Origins and Consequences of the New Constitutionalism

ISBN-10: 0674025474
ISBN-13: 9780674025479
Edition: 2004
Authors: Ran Hirschl
List price: $26.00 Buy it from $19.81
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Description: 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  More...

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Book details

List price: $26.00
Copyright year: 2004
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publication date: 9/30/2007
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 294
Size: 5.75" wide x 9.50" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 1.166
Language: English

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.

Introduction
Four Constitutional Revolutions
The Political Origins of Constitutionalization
Hegemonic Preservation in Action
Constitutionalization and Judicial Interpretation of Rights
Rights and Realities
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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