Political Science, Fifth Edition (Comparative Government and Politics)

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Chapter 13: Constitutions and the Legal Framework Four reasons that legal politics is on the rise: 1) late 20 th century had a lot of new constitutions 2) Judicial activism judges more willing to enter political arena 3) potential of consistent legal foundation leading to economic growth 4) Conflicts between supranational and national laws Rule of law: consistent, equal, due process Common law: based on precedents. UK, USA, New Zealand Civil law: more common. Written codes. Derived from Roman law. Judges identify facts. Constitutions: preamble, organization section, bill of rights, procedures for amendment. Codified- set out in a single document Uncodified- spread among a range of documents, influenced by practice and tradition Rigid= predictability, limits damage if opponents gain power Uncodified= adaptability New constitutions: 1) Regime change 2) Defeat in war 3) Independence Drafters more concerned with a short-term political fix than with the long-run danger to a new constitution= not giving rulers enough authority In Italy, garantismo led to ineffective governance. Judicial Review: override decisions/laws, restrict the power of elected officials.
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Chapter 13 - Chapter 13: Constitutions and the Legal...

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