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Extending Rights' Reach – Constitutions, Private Law, and Judicial Power - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Extending Rights' Reach: Constitutions, Private Law, and Judicial Power

Jud Mathews


Constitutional rights protect individuals against government overreaching, but that is not all they do. In different ways and to different degrees, constitutional rights also regulate legal relations among private parties in most legal systems. In other words, rights can have not only a vertical effect, within the hierarchical relationship between citizen and state, but also a horizontal one, on the citizen-to-citizen relationships otherwise governed by private law. In every constitutional system with judicially enforceable constitutional rights, courts must make choices about whether, when, a ... More

Keywords: constitutional rights, horizontal effect, judicial power, private law, constitutionalism, Germany, United States, Canada

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9780190682910
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2018 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190682910.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jud Mathews, author
Associate Professor of Law, Pennsylvania State University School of Law