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  • Cited by 8
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
September 2018
Print publication year:
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Book description

The founding of a constitutional court is often an indication of a chosen path of constitutionalism and democracy. It is no coincidence that most of the constitutional courts in East and Southeast Asia were established at the same time as the transition of the countries concerned from authoritarianism to liberal constitutional democracy. This book is the first to provide systematic narratives and analysis of Asian experiences of constitutional courts and related developments, and to introduce comparative, historical and theoretical perspectives on these experiences, as well as debates on the relevant issues in countries that do not as yet have constitutional courts. This volume makes a significant contribution to the systematic and comparative study of constitutional courts, constitutional adjudication and constitutional developments in East and Southeast Asia and beyond.


‘We live in an age of constitutional courts. Yet courts around the world differ markedly in their approach to upholding democracy and human rights. This volume provides a timely and fascinating study of how these differences play out in Asia: from the super-strong judicial review practiced in Thailand, to the weak review found in Japan, it explores the social and political context for these differences, and the extent to which they are likely to remain stable over time. Theoretically and factually rich, it draws on insights from scholars around the world who are experts in Asia. It also combines canonical and new cases to provide a wide-ranging exploration of the variation we now find in ‘Asian constitutionalism'.'

Rosalind Dixon - University of New South Wales, Australia

‘This is an excellent book that discusses the design and operation of constitutional review in East and Southeast Asia. It aptly combines a systematic presentation of the seven constitutional courts existing in the region with theoretical and comparative analysis of the problem. Undoubtedly, the book will serve as an essential reference for academic research as well as for debates on constitutional reform in other countries.'

Lech Garlicki - University of Warsaw, Judge of the Constitutional Court of Poland (1993–2001) and of the European Court of Human Rights (2002–12)

‘For comparative legal scholars and social scientists, this is a rare and precious book: a conceptually sophisticated and empirically rich collection of case studies and comparative reflections on constitutional courts in Asia. The volume directs attention to the variation that matters most - why have some constitutional courts succeeded in transforming their political environments, creating new forms of constitutional law and politics, while others have failed? Everyone engaged in the study of Asian law and politics needs to read this book.’

Alec Stone Sweet - Saw Swee Hock Professor of Law, National University of Singapore

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