Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Alex Schwartz on Judicial Power and Consociational Federation: The Bosnian Example (Federal Law Review)

Federal Law Review
2018, v. 46 n. 4, pp. 631-644
An influential theory, sometimes called the ‘fragmentation hypothesis’, proposes that divided political systems will tend to empower courts because they make it more difficult for political elites to coordinate court-curbing retaliation. Another influential perspective proposes that federal systems are conducive to judicial empowerment because they create a demand for the authoritative adjudication of jurisdictional boundaries and/or they facilitate judicial supremacy over constitutional meaning. If both of these theories are correct, we might expect consociational (ie, power sharing) federations to be especially hospitable to the emergence of powerful courts. With reference to the example of Bosnia-Herzegovina, this article questions this conclusion; it is theorized here that core features of consociational federation will tend to undermine the growth and maintenance of judicial power.

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