C. Parau, Transnational Networks and Elite Self-Empowerment, Oxford UP (Book Review)
2 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2022
Date Written: January 26, 2019
Judicial reforms have hinged on three institutions. First, a constitutional court entrusted with constitutional review, seemingly according to the so-called Kelsen model, but in fact – thanks to the introduction of incidental review – diffusing the practice through all ranks of judges and therefore assigning legislative powers to the judiciary. A judicial council in charge of the promotion and discipline of judges, to be controlled by judges (sometimes including also public prosecutors); in this way bringing about a sort of judicial self-government. And, finally, a judicial school more or less independent from ministerial supervision, capable of seeding the judicial corps with a new, more activist conception of the judicial role. Overall, the new institutional setting has brought about a strong transfer of power away from the political branches toward the judicial.
The role played in this transformation by a new actor is the subject of the monograph of Cristina Parau. In fact, the judicial reforms foreseen in the template have been supported by a legal-judicial transnational network community, composed of elite legal professionals, functionaries in international and supranational organs (such as the Council of Europe and the European Commission); national officials; legal academics; officers of philanthropic organizations; and elite media. Thanks to a detailed analysis of the decisional processes implementing the template as well as the agents involved in the transformation – an analysis supported by more than 100 interviews – the role played by these elites has been discovered and evidenced.
Keywords: judiciary, transnational networks, elites, judicial independence, agent drift, rule of law, judicial independence, power
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