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Against the New Constitutionalism

Tamas Gyorfi, University of Aberdeen, UK
Ever since the Second World War, a new constitutional model has emerged worldwide that gives a pivotal role to judges. Against the New Constitutionalism challenges this reigning paradigm and develops a distinctively liberal position against strong constitutional review that puts the emphasis on epistemic considerations. The author considers whether the minimalist judicial review of Nordic countries is more in line with the best justification of the institution than the Commonwealth model that occupies a central place in contemporary constitutional scholarship.
Extent: 288 pp
Hardback Price: $125.00 Web: $112.50
Publication Date: 2016
ISBN: 978 1 78347 300 7
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  • Law - Academic
  • Comparative Law
  • Constitutional and Administrative Law
  • Politics and Public Policy
Ever since the Second World War, a new constitutional model has emerged worldwide that gives a pivotal role to judges. Against the New Constitutionalism challenges this reigning paradigm and develops a distinctively liberal defence of political constitutionalism. The author concludes that, in consolidated democracies, strong constitutional review cannot be justified and argues for the primacy of the legislature primarily on epistemic – as opposed to procedural – grounds.

The author also considers whether the minimalist judicial review of Nordic countries is more in line with the best justification of the institution than the Commonwealth model that occupies a central place in contemporary constitutional scholarship.

This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of constitutional law. It will also be of use to constitutional and political theorists, as well as comparative and public lawyers, looking for a solution to the issues surrounding constitutional review.
‘Gyorfi's book has the rare virtue of combining a refreshing theoretical intervention to the old – but ongoing – debate about the legitimacy of judicial review of legislation with a critical examination of different institutional attempts to balance democracy and human rights. It is a must-read for both constitutional theorists and comparative constitutional lawyers.’
– Joel Colon-Rios, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Contents: 1. The New Constitutionalism 2. Political Principles 3. From Principles to Institutions 4. Constitutional Interpretation 5. A Theory of Weak Judicial Review 6. Conclusion Index