Democratizing Constitutional Law

Perspectives on Legal Theory and the Legitimacy of Constitutionalism

  • Thomas Bustamante
  • Bernardo Gonçalves Fernandes

Part of the Law and Philosophy Library book series (LAPS, volume 113)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Thomas Bustamante, Bernardo Gonçalves Fernandes
    Pages 1-10
  3. Challenging and Defending Judicial Review

  4. Constitutional Dialogues and Constitutional Deliberation

  5. Institutional Alternatives for Constitutional Changes

  6. Constitutional Promises and Democratic Participation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 231-231
    2. Vera Karam de Chueiri
      Pages 233-246
  7. Legal Theory and Constitutional Interpretation

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 273-273
    2. Wil J. Waluchow, Katharina Stevens
      Pages 275-291
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 325-328

About this book


This volume critically discusses the relationship between democracy and constitutionalism. It does so with a view to respond to objections raised by legal and political philosophers who are sceptical of judicial review based on the assumption that judicial review is an undemocratic institution. The book builds on earlier literature on the moral justification of the authority of constitutional courts, and on the current attempts to develop a system on “weak judicial review”. Although different in their approach, the chapters all focus on devising institutions, procedures and, in a more abstract way, normative conceptions to democratize constitutional law. These democratizing strategies may vary from a radical objection to the institution of judicial review, to a more modest proposal to justify the authority of constitutional courts in their “deliberative performance” or to create constitutional juries that may be more aware of a community’s constitutional morality than constitutional courts are. The book connects abstract theoretical discussions about the moral justification of constitutionalism with concrete problems, such as the relation between constitutional adjudication and deliberative democracy, the legitimacy of judicial review in international institutions, the need to create new institutions to democratize constitutionalism, the connections between philosophical conceptions and constitutional practices, the judicial review of constitutional amendments, and the criticism on strong judicial review.


Common Law Constitutionalism Constitutional juries Democratic Legitimacy European Convention on Human Rights Future of Constitutionalism Government of the Majority International Human Rights Conventions Judicial Review in Constitutional Democracies Judicial reference to community values Legitimacy Presuppositions Political Constitutionalism Radical Constitution Written Constitution

Editors and affiliations

  • Thomas Bustamante
    • 1
  • Bernardo Gonçalves Fernandes
    • 2
  1. 1.Universidade Federal de Minas GeraiBelo HorizonteBrazil
  2. 2.Faculdade de DireitoUniversidade Federal de Minas GeraiBelo HorizonteBrazil

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