Constitutional Review: The Spread of Constitutional Councils and Courts
This chapter examines constitutional law from the perspective of judicial review. The formal spread of ‘constitutional review’ is a fairly recent phenomenon in modern Middle Eastern law. The fledgling experiment is a hybrid in comparative terms: broadly speaking, constitutional courts in some countries follow the US model with cases querying legislation whose constitutionality is doubted. Constitutional councils, in contrast, examine the constitutionality of legislation recently passed upon the demand of a limited number of postulants, usually prominent political actors. The latter review, which follows the French model introduced by the 1958 constitution of the Fifth Republic, does not arise in the case of normal litigation. The common thread in both types of review is the constitution understood as canonical text, and/or Islamic law as the superior law of the land in a significant number of jurisdictions.
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