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Vol 21 No 9 Sept/Oct 2016

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Constitutional Review in Europe: A Comparative Analysis

ISBN13: 9781849469715
Published: October 2015
Publisher: Hart Publishing
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Paperback (Hardback in 2013)
Price: £27.99
Hardback edition , ISBN13 9781849463850

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Constitutions serve to delineate state powers and enshrine basic rights. Such matters are hardly uncontroversial, but perhaps even more controversial are the questions of who (should) uphold(s) the Constitution and how constitutional review is organised. These two questions are the subject of this book by Maartje de Visser, which offers a comprehensive, comparative analysis of how 11 representative European countries answer these questions, as well as a critical appraisal of the EU legal order in light of these national experiences.

Where possible, the book endeavours to identify Europe's common and diverse constitutional traditions of constitutional review. The raison d' tre, jurisdiction and composition of constitutional courts are explored and so too are core features of the constitutional adjudicatory process. Yet, this book also deliberately draws attention to the role of non-judicial actors in upholding the Constitution, as well as the complex interplay amongst constitutional courts and other actors at the national and European level.

The Member States featured are: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Hungary, the Netherlands, Spain, Poland, and the United Kingdom. This book is intended for practitioners, academics and students with an interest in (European) constitutional law.

Constitutional and Administrative Law, Comparative Law, EU Law
Introductory Definitions: Constitutional Interpretation and Constitutional Review
Background: The Need for a Perspective Combining National and European Constitutional Law

Chapter 1 The Role of Non-Judicial Actors in Upholding the Constitution
I. Introduction
II. Councils of State and Chancellors of Justice
III. Parliament and its Committees
IV. Heads of State
V. The People
VI. Concluding Remarks

Chapter 2 The Rise of Constitutional Adjudication
I. Introduction
II. The Notion of 'Constitutional Jurisdiction'
III. Exploring the Reasons behind the Rise of Constitutional Adjudication
IV. Bucking the Trend? A Closer Look at the Approaches of the Netherlands and the United Kingdom
V. Concluding Remarks and Some Brief Reflections on the Two European Courts

Chapter 3 Purposes of Constitutional Adjudication and Access to Constitutional Courts
I. Introduction
II. The Institutional Design of Constitutional Adjudication
III. Four Purposes that May be Served by Constitutional Adjudication
IV. Final Comparative Remarks and Reflections on the Court of Justice

Chapter 4 The Constitutional Bench
I. Introduction
II. Selection and Appointment Procedures
III. Number of Judges and Eligibility Criteria
IV. Tenure of Judicial Appointments and Termination Thereof
V. Final Comparative Remarks and Reflections on the Court of Justice

Chapter 5 Identifying the Sources of Standards for Constitutional Review
I. Introduction
II. Belgium: Cour constitutionnelle
III. Czech Republic: Ustavni Soud
IV. Germany: Bundesverfassungsgericht
V. France: Conseil constitutionnel
VI. Hungary: Alkotmanybirosag
VII. Italy: Corte costituzionale
VIII. Poland: Trybunal Konstytucyjny
IX. Spain: Tribunal Constitucional
X. The Netherlands: Raad van State
XI. United Kingdom: House of Lords Constitution Committee
XII. Finland: Perustuslakivaliokunta
XIII. European Union: Court of Justice
XIV. Comparative Remarks

Chapter 6 Testing and Remedying Unconstitutionality
I. Introduction
II. Deference Rhetoric
III. Theory of the Living Law
IV. Constitution-Conform Interpretation
V. Types of Judgment and their Effects
VI. Concluding Remarks

Chapter 7 Interplay between Constitutional Courts and Other Actors
I. Introduction
II. Interactions between Constitutional Courts and (Constitutional) Legislatures
III. Interactions between Constitutional Courts and the Ordinary Courts
IV. Interactions among European Constitutional Courts
V. Interactions between Constitutional Courts and the Court of Justice
VI. Interactions between National Highest and Constitutional Courts and the European Court of Human Rights
VII. Concluding Remarks