'International Meaning': Comity in Fundamental Rights Adjudication
International Journal of Refugee Studies, Vol. 13, pp. 280-292, 2002
12 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2008
Date Written: July 3, 2008
In fundamental rights adjudication, should judges defer to the judgment of other decision makers? How can they defer, without betraying the respect that judges ought to accord those rights? How can they refuse to defer, without betraying the respect that judges ought to accord to other decision makers? I argue that only principles of comity (such as the principles of subsidiarity in the Strasbourg Court and justiciability in the British courts) justify deference, and their reach is limited. Comity never forbids the judges to take and to act upon a different view of fundamental rights from that of another decision maker. I elaborate this view by reference to the decision of the House of Lords in Adan and Aitseguer  1 All ER 593.
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