The Judicialization of Mega-Politics and the Rise of Political Courts

44 Pages Posted: 28 May 2008

See all articles by Ran Hirschl

Ran Hirschl

University of Texas at Austin, School of Law

Abstract

In recent years, the judicialization of politics worldwide has expanded its scope to encompass what we may term "mega-politics"-matters of outright and utmost political significance that often define and divide whole polities. In this article, I explore the scope and nature of judicialization of this kind. I begin by identifying the characteristics of the judicialization of mega-politics and by surveying the main explanations for its emergence. I then illustrate the various forms and manifestations of the judicialization of mega-politics through recent examples drawn from jurisprudence of courts and tribunals worldwide. Next, I explore recent studies that advance a strategic "judicialization-from-above" account, which emphasizes support from the political sphere as a necessary precondition for judicialization of pure politics. To further illustrate this point, I survey patterns of political reaction to recurrent manifestations of unsolicited judicial intervention in the political sphere in general, and unwelcome judgments concerning contentious political issues in particular.

Keywords: Comparative constitutional law and politics, judicialization of politics, law of democracy, constitutional theory

Suggested Citation

Hirschl, Ran, The Judicialization of Mega-Politics and the Rise of Political Courts. Annual Review of Political Science, Vol. 11, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1138008

Ran Hirschl (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin, School of Law ( email )

727 East Dean Keeton Street
Austin, TX 78705
United States

HOME PAGE: http://law.utexas.edu/faculty/ran-hirschl/

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