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.
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