Abusive Constitutional Borrowing: Legal globalization and the subversion of liberal democracy

ISBN : 9780192893765

Rosalind Dixon; David Landau
240 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Jun 2021
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Law is fast globalizing as a field, and many lawyers, judges and political leaders are engaged in a process of comparative "borrowing". But this new form of legal globalization has darksides: it is not just a source of inspiration for those seeking to strengthen and improve democratic institutions and policies. It is increasingly an inspiration - and legitimation device - for those seeking to erode democracy by stealth, under the guise of a form of faux liberal democratic cover. Abusive Constitutional Borrowing: Legal globalization and the subversion of liberal democracy outlines this phenomenon, how it succeeds, and what we can do to prevent it. This book address current patterns of democratic retrenchment and explores its multiple variants and technologies, considering the role of legitimating ideologies that help support different modes of abusive constitutionalism. An important contribution to both legal and political scholarship, this book will of interest to all those working in the legal and political disciplines of public law, constitutional theory, political theory, and political science.


1 Introduction: A Dark Side of Comparative Constitutional Law
2 Democracy and Abusive Constitutional Change
3 The Concept and Scope of Abusive Constitutional Borrowing
4 The Abuse of Constitutional Rights
5 Abusive Judicial Review
6 The Abuse of Constituent Power
7 The Abusive Borrowing of Political Constitutionalism and Weak-Form Judicial Review
8 Can Abusive Borrowing Be Stopped?

About the author: 

Rosalind Dixon is a Professor of Law at UNSW, Sydney, Australia. She is co-editor, with Tom Ginsburg, of a leading handbook, Comparative Constitutional Law (Edward Elgar, 2011) and related volumes, Comparative Constitutional Law in Asia (Edward Elgar, 2014), and Comparative Constitutional Law in Latin America (Edward Elgar, 2017). Professor Dixon is a Manos Research Fellow, Director of the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, Deputy Director of the Herbert Smith Freehills Initiative on Law and Economics, Co-Director of the UNSW New Economic Equality Initiative (NEEI), and academic co-lead of the Grand Challenge on Inequality at UNSW. She was recently elected as co-president of the International Society of Public Law.; Professor Landau is a recognized scholar on constitutional theory, constitutional design and comparative constitutional law. His recent work has focused on a range of issues with contemporary salience both in the United States and elsewhere around the world, including constitutional change and constitution-making, judicial role and the enforcement of rights, impeachment, and the erosion of democracy. His scholarship is interdisciplinary, combining insights from law and political science. Professor Landau has published in leading law journals including the University of Chicago Law Review, the Iowa Law Review, the George Washington Law Review, and the Harvard International Law Journal. He has previously published several books and edited volumes with Oxford University Press and Edward Elgar Press.

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