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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.155) Afterword
Constitutional Courts and Democratic Values

Víctor Ferreres Comella

Yale University Press

This book is a long argument supporting the European preference for constitutional courts. It has tried to highlight the potential virtues of the centralized model of judicial review in the particular context of parliamentary democracies that belong to the civil-law tradition. When European scholars nowadays read Marbury v. Madison, they cannot fail to be attracted by its powerful logic. Chief Justice John Marshall's central argument boiled down to four premises: first, the constitution is law; second, the constitution has a higher rank in the legal hierarchy than ordinary legislation; third, it is the judiciary's function to decide cases according to the law; and finally, when different norms that belong to the same legal system collide, judges must decide which one is to be applied according to the classical criteria of lex posterior, lex specialis, and lex superior.

Keywords:   constitutional courts, European preference, centralized model, parliamentary democracies, civil-law tradition, Marbury v. Madison, Chief Justice John Marshall

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