Structure, Organization, and Legitimation *
In the judicial sphere, constitutional courts have been the rising stars since World War II. Although all constitutional courts have the same purpose—to guarantee the rule of law itself—there is a wide range of different models with regard to their structure, organization, and legitimation. As a former judge of the constitutional bench in Germany, Böckenförde is able to categorize these models and their specific challenges with great clarity. How can one prevent the guardian of the constitution (Carl Schmitt’s ‘Hüter der Verfassung’) from becoming the master of the people? This is the risk provided by any constitutional court, as no institution is above them. In presenting the main types of recruitment and legitimation of judges in different constitutional democracies, Böckenförde shows that, ultimately, the judges themselves need to be aware of their responsibility not to seek political ends by means of constitutional interpretation.
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