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European Constitutional Courts and Transitions to Democracy


Part of ASCL Studies in Comparative Law

Francesco Biagi,
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  • Date Published: June 2022
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108702393

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About the Authors
  • This book brings together research on democratization processes and constitutional justice by examining the role of three generations of European constitutional courts in the transitions to democracy that took place in Europe in the twentieth century. Using a comparative perspective, the author examines how the constitutional courts during that period managed to ensure an initial full implementation of the constitutional provisions, thus contributing - together with other actors and factors - to the positive outcome of the democratization processes. European Constitutional Courts and Transitions to Democracy provides a better understanding of the relationship between transitions to democracy and constitutionalism from the perspective of constitutional courts.

    • Provides a diachronic comparison, providing an analysis of the role of these Courts in three different historical phases
    • Offers one of the first studies available in English on the role played by the Italian and Spanish Constitutional Courts in the democratic transition processes
    • Gives useful insights for constitutional courts in countries that are currently experiencing (or likely to experience in the future) a transition from authoritarian rule
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Biagi has produced a masterpiece of comparative law. His methodologically careful, crisply analytic study of constitutional courts in Europe deepens our understanding of the role of judicial review in democratic transition. He shows how courts transform politics while securing constitutional democracy.' Tom Ginsburg, Leo Spitz Professor of International Law, University of Chicago

    'Francesco Biagi has written an important book on the role of constitutional courts in transitions to democracy. The literature on the subject is abundant, but Biagi's book stands out because of its unique combination of an historical and interdisciplinary approach to highlight legal landmarks and substantive democratic achievements. His account of three generations of transitions is highly rewarding as it affords a wealth of both retrospective and prospective insights.' Michel Rosenfeld, Yeshiva University

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2022
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108702393
    • length: 259 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 14 mm
    • weight: 0.354kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Democratic transitions and constitutional courts
    2. The first generation: the case of the Italian Constitutional Court
    3. The second generation: the case of the Spanish Constitutional Court
    4. The third generation: the case of the Constitutional Court of the Czech Republic
    5. Comparing three generations

  • Author

    Francesco Biagi, Università di Bologna
    Francesco Biagi is an Adjunct Professor of Comparative Constitutionalism, a Post-doctoral Research Fellow in Comparative Public Law at the University of Bologna School of Law, and a Researcher at the Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic Development. From October 2015 to January 2017, he was a Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law (Heidelberg), where he now works as a legal consultant. He is the co-editor of Political and Constitutional Transitions in North Africa: Actors and Factors (with Justin O. Frosini, 2015).


    Francesco Biagi,

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