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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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The Rise of Constitutional Courts

The Rise of Constitutional Courts

(p.3) Chapter One The Rise of Constitutional Courts
Constitutional Courts and Democratic Values

Víctor Ferreres Comella

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on the 1920s, before the Second World War, when only Lichtenstein and Spain had decided to establish constitutional courts. During that period, a particularly powerful voice, that of Hans Kelsen, could be heard in support of the new system. This important legal philosopher was very influential in the construction of the Austrian Constitutional Court—where he served as a judge from 1921 to 1930. There is no doubt that Kelsen deserves enormous credit for the introduction and theoretical defense of constitutional courts. It is very useful to examine Kelsen's ideas in order to understand the intellectual sources of the European model—which is often referred to as “Kelsenian.” Kelsen wrote extensively in favor of subjecting legislation to some type of judicial review and in favor of the centralized model, as opposed to the American alternative.

Keywords:   constitutional courts, Lichtenstein, Spain, Hans Kelsen, Austrian Constitutional Court, Kelsenian, centralized model

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