Book Review of Moshe Cohen-Eliya & Iddo Porat, Proportionality and Constitutional Culture, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013.
2 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2013 Last revised: 9 Dec 2016
Date Written: October 16, 2013
No other concept of constitutional law remains nearly so prolific in academic citations and yet mystical in substance as proportionality. Over the last century we learnt several guiding formulas that work its mighty magic: it is supposedly an exercise consisting of three spells (suitability – necessity – appropriateness), conceived in European public law and enchanting the rest of the democratic globe, with the US constitutionalism remaining impervious to its powerful wizardry. This greatly anticipated book by M. Cohen-Eliya and I. Porat critically revisits these formulas, carefully unpacks the origins and functions of proportionality in Western democracies and, finally, offers a plausible explanation for the troublesome relationship between “European” proportionality and “US-American” balancing. Cambridge University Press publication rounds off several years of fascinating study by two Israeli co-authors. In a series of widely cited publications (preceding the book and reasonably accommodated in this relatively small volume), the authors have offered a comprehensive explanation for the global impact of the proportionality doctrine.
Keywords: proportionality, balancing, Europe, USA, constitutional ideas
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