Judicial Review in New Democracies: Constitutional Courts in Asian Cases


Tom Ginsburg


Where does judicial power come from, how does it develop, and what political conditions support its expansion? This book answers these important questions through an examination of three constitutional courts in East Asia, where law is traditionally viewed as a tool of authoritarian rulers. New democracies around the world have adopted constitutional courts to oversee the operation of democratic politics. Thomas Ginsburg argues that, while judicial review does put constraints on government, it is sought as a solution to the problem of uncertainty in constitutional design. By providing “insurance” to prospective electoral losers, judicial review facilitates democracy.


“Every serious scholar and student of constitutional politics and institutional design should read this book.” The Law and Politics Book Review

“Ginsburg provides compelling empirical support in his three East Asian cases that judicial power increases when political power is diffuse. Because he is interested in highlihgting the conditions under which courts can constrain other political actors, compliance is an important indicator of judicial independence.” – Shannon Roesler, Law and Social Inquiry

Book Details

  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (August 18, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521817153
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521817158


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