Verfassung und Richterspruch
Courts and judicatory institutions exercising a constitutional function are a feature of many communities nowadays. At one time, the institution of constitutional jurisdiction was a key element of political and judicial decision-making structures of only a few states, but since the Second World War and especially in the wake of the upheaval in Central and Eastern Europe after 1989 it has become very widely adopted. Where not only the procedures, but also the substance of political processes are subject to binding and final judgements, the constitutional jurisdiction develops particularly lasting and far-reaching effects: The rulings of the highest courts shape the political system and legal culture to such an extent that these courts themselves acquire the status of sovereign bodies. The legitimacy of this type of judicial review is examined in the book at hand. The study treats the subject of constitutional review as an abstract concept, brings typological order to the diverse forms of constitutional jurisdiction, conceives constitutional judgement as the institutionalised judicial reviewability of all acts of the state, and considers the valibility of constitutional jurisdiction in a constitutional democracy. The work argues that there are pragmatic reasons in favour of justifying a legal control of this kind and of ascertaining the suitability of the courts for that task. There are, however, no clear-cut principles either in favour of or against the systems of an all-embracing constitutional review.
Supervision by the courts and judicatory institutions is addressed as a problem of political theory and philosophy of law. In order to follow this route, the work discusses some major theorems and topics - raised in current debates as well as deriving from the history of political ideas; likewise it offers a critical analysis of those doctrines.
The issue of whether or not all state actions should be subject to judicial review is not simply a question of academic interest - its impact is a matter of concern to all citizens, not merely to experts. In view of the legal and political regimen of the European Union the problem of legitimate constitutional judgement is of prime importance.