Constitutional Courts in East Asia: Understanding Variation
3 Journal of Comparative Law 80 (2008)
21 Pages Posted: 27 Aug 2014
Date Written: 2008
After decades of authoritarian rule, East Asia has experienced a wave of democratization since the mid-1980s. Transitions toward more open political structures have been effectuated in South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Mongolia and Indonesia, and even the Leninist states of China and Vietnam have experienced tentative moves toward more participatory politics. These political transitions have been accompanied by an important but understudied phenomenon: the emergence of powerful constitutional courts in the region. In at least four countries, Indonesia, Thailand, South Korea and Mongolia, constitutional courts created during the democratic transition have emerged as real constraints on political authority. A fifth court, the Council of Grand Justices in Taiwan, re-awakened after years of relative quiet to play an important role in Taiwan's long political transition to democracy.
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