Constitutional Courts: A Primer for Decision Makers

Issue Date October 2006
Volume 17
Issue 4
Page Numbers 125-137
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Judicial review is a growing institution. Originating in the United States two centuries ago, the power to declare governmental action, whether legislative or executive, unconstitutional has spread around the world in the last half century. A carefully designed and properly limited constitutional court could be of inestimable benefit to the creation of the rule of law. Equally, a badly designed constitutional court, with unspecified or poorly specified powers, can become an object of political struggle, an impediment to democracy, and a negative influence on the development of the legal system.

About the Author

Donald L. Horowitz, James B. Duke Professor of Law and Political Science Emeritus at Duke University, recently became a senior fellow at the International Forum for Democratic Studies. Professor Horowitz is the author of numerous books and articles, including the seminal volume Ethnic Groups in Conflict (2000) and, most recently, Constitutional Change and Democracy in Indonesia (2013).

View all work by Donald L. Horowitz