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NUMERO 18 - 01/10/2014

The functioning of the mechanisms of Constitutional control: some reflections on the basis of the European experience

The development of constitutional control mechanisms is strictly linked with  the birth of the modern constitutional State: drafting of Fundamental Charters and establishing of the Rule of Law represented the prerequisites for constitutional control. There is no doubt that the judicial review took place when constitutional Charters became the fundamental document of the modern States, building up political and social organizations according the principles of democracy and human dignity. The establishment of institutions with the competence of constitutional review is nowadays considered a standard component of a democracy. It is increasingly common to entrust the power of constitutional review to a specialised constitutional court that can issue authoritative decisions on the constitutionality of laws and on Government’s actions and interpret the Constitution’s provisions. Furthermore, a constitutional Court can thus play many important roles, always related with the fundamental power of ensuring the respect of the highest State principles and values. Its jurisdiction could aim at protecting individual rights; at providing a forum for the resolution of disputes in federal systems, and also in regionalised and in decentralised systems; at ensuring and enforcing the separation of powers through decisions about the conflicts between State organs; at suing the Head of the State or the Government for high treason to the Nation; at certifying election results and the admissibility of referendum; at assessing the legality of political parties.... (segue)

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