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Constitutional Courts and Democratic ValuesA European Perspective$
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Victor Ferreres Comella

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780300148671

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300148671.001.0001

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(p.xiii) Introduction
Constitutional Courts and Democratic Values

Víctor Ferreres Comella

Yale University Press

This book concerns the legal landscape of contemporary Europe, which relies on the institutional salience of constitutional courts. Within the European Union, in particular, the vast majority of countries have opted for this kind of arrangement. Instead of allowing all judges, in the context of ordinary legal disputes, to set aside legislation that is allegedly inconsistent with the constitution, most European nations have preferred to assign the task of legislative review to a special tribunal. Europe is clearly associated with the “centralized” or “concentrated” model of constitutional justice, whereas the United States exemplifies the “decentralized” or “diffuse” model. There are, of course, many variations within the centralized model, as is discussed in the following chapters.

Keywords:   legal landscape, contemporary Europe, constitutional courts, concentrated model, constitutional justice, diffuse model

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