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Towering Judges
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Book description

In Towering Judges: A Comparative Study of Constitutional Judges, Rehan Abeyratne and Iddo Porat lead an exploration of a new topic in comparative constitutional law: towering judges. The volume examines the work of nineteen judges from fourteen jurisdictions, each of whom stood out individually among their fellow judges and had a unique impact on the trajectory of constitutional law. The chapters ask: what makes a towering judge; what are the background conditions that foster or deter the rise of towering judges; are towering judges, on balance, positive or detrimental for constitutional systems; how do towering judges differ from one jurisdiction to another; how do political and historical developments relate to this phenomenon; and how does all of this fit within global constitutionalism? The answers to these questions offer important insight into how these judges were able to shine to an uncommon degree in a profession where individualism is not always looked on favourably.


‘An important, fascinating and sophisticated discussion of the capacity of a larger than life judge to impact a legal system. Iddo Porat, Rehan Abeyratne, and a team of superstar scholars explore the different ways in which one person in a position of judicial authority can and cannot bring about fundamental legal change.’

Mark Graber - Regents Professor, University System of Maryland; Author of A New Introduction to American Constitutionalism

‘This book addresses an under-researched area of comparative constitutional law: leadership in the judiciary. The accounts of the towering judges contained here are not only fascinating portraits of extraordinary judges but read together they illustrate how important leadership is to the work of senior appellate courts and judiciaries.’

Catherine O'Regan - Former Judge, Constitutional Court, South Africa; Director, Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, University of Oxford; Honorary Professor, University of Cape Town

‘A book about leading jurists in constitutional courts around the world offers an instructive path to greater understanding of comparative constitutional problems and comparative judicial reasoning. This work has the additional strength of covering a wide range of courts, some of which are familiar but many of which feature less often in global studies. It is a welcome addition to the field.’

Cheryl Saunders - Laureate Professor Emeritus, and Co-Director of Studies, Public and International Law, Melbourne Law School; President Emeritus of the International Association of Constitutional Law

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