The Activist Judge – Vanity of Vanities
Allan, James (2015). The activist judge – vanity of vanities. In Luis Pereira Coutinho, Massimo La Torre and Steven D. Smith (Ed.), Judicial Activism: an interdisciplinary approach to the American and European experiences (pp. 71-87) Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Springer Netherlands.
Posted: 9 Sep 2015
Date Written: 2015
I, for one, certainly believe that over the last four or five decades the developed democratic world - or, I plead ignorance, perhaps just the common law part of that world - has seen a marked increase in judicial activism. In my latest book, just out in June 2014, I argue that unelected judges have been eating into the scope for democratic decision-marking (Allan 2014). They have done this in various ways including through the adoption of new approaches to constitutional interpretation that impose few (if any) external constraints on what qualifies as the correct or right answer; through how they use and appeal to transnational law; through the ways in which they treat international treaties and international customary law; and through the ways in which (in the United Kingdom and New Zealand, in particular) newly enacted statutory bills of rights are being interpreted.
JEL Classification: K00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation