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date: 01 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Judicial review is the power of a court to pass judgment on actions taken in other branches of government, most notably with respect to the constitutionality of legislation enacted by representative legislatures. It is a core feature of judicial power that is prominent in the American system and is increasingly prevalent around the world across all legal traditions. This chapter provides a brief overview of the historical origins and spread of the practice of judicial review. The chapter then reviews two streams of academic research––normative and empirical––that seek to understand the theoretical and practical implications of the practice of judicial review in a representative democracy. The chapter highlights fruitful avenues for future research at the intersection of these lines of inquiry.

Keywords: judicial review, counter-majoritarian difficulty, representative democracy, legal traditions, judicial power

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