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Judicial Empowerment Through Constitution-Making: The Case of Chilean and Turkish Constitutional Courts

The debate over the merits of judicial review of constitutionality of legislation involves on the one hand the significance of preserving the constitutional structure and protecting individual rights but on the other the difficulty of reconciling the power of non-elected judges to revoke bills approved by legislators with the model of democracy that values the supremacy of elected officials. Whether judicial review has become an intrinsic part of democratic constitutionalism requires a detailed analysis of the institutional as well as political and cultural context specific to a country. Considering that our understanding of what entails judicial review is heavily dependent on whether we are considering a civil law or a common law country, which model of democracy is espoused by that country and finally whether the system ofjudicial review is characterized as centralized or decentralized, any form of discussion, theoretical and practical requires contextualizing the debate. This project focuses on two specific cases of judicial review as practiced by two post-authoritarian countries, Chile and Turkey, whose constitutional courts in recent years had gone through major changes as a result of constitutional amendmentsthat altered their powers and composition. Thus, in order to investigate the models of constitutionalism practiced in Chile and Turkey, this research seeks to uncover the procedure and the scope of judicial review as practiced by Turkish Constitutional Court (Anayasa Mahkemesi) and Chilean Constitutional Tribunal (Tribunal Constitucional) in a comparative approach.

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