On the Specificity of Middle Eastern Constitutionalism
45 Pages Posted: 1 Mar 2013
Date Written: March 1, 2006
The trend towards judicial review of constitutions is strong across the Middle East, with the introduction of various models of constitutional review in the last decades in Egypt, Iran, and the United Arab Emirates, and more recently in Yemen, Lebanon, Jordan, Algeria, and Morocco.
An analysis of Middle Eastern constitutional law is therefore possible on two levels. Following the French model, the analysis would examine the political institutions of various states, the way elections are carried out, the separation of powers if any, and the division of responsibilities between executive and legislative powers in constitutional texts and in practice. The system can therefore be studied from a top-bottom perspective, the way constitutional law is usually taught in France (“gouvernants and gouvernés”). This is the analytical course pursued here.
The other type of analysis follows a U.S. mode of exposition. There, decisions of the courts are the focus of the analysis, in so far as they shed cumulative light on the rule of law getting fleshed out in the practice of judicial review understood largely, and in constitutional adjudication for more recent experiments. Judicial review is the focus of a different study.
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