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Constitutions, Courts and History

Historical Narratives in Constitutional Adjudication


Renáta Uitz is Assistant Professor of Comparative Constitutional Law in the Legal Studies Department at Central European University.

Emphasizes the role history and historical narratives play in constitutional adjudication. Uitz provocatively draws attention to the often-tense relationship between the constitution and historical precedence highlighting the interpretive and normative nature of the law. Her work seeks to understand the conditions under which references to the past, history and traditions are attractive to lawyers, even when they have the potential of perpetuating indeterminacy in constitutional reasoning. Uitz conclusively argues that this constitutional indeterminacy is obscured by 'judicial rhetorical toolkits' of continuity and reconciliation that allow the court's reliance on the past to be unaccounted for. Uitz' rigorous analysis and extensive research makes this work an asset to legal scholars and practitioners alike.
The inquiry in this volume hopes to attract observers of constitutional adjudication, may they be reading constitutional jurisprudence from the quarters of constitutional law, constitutional history, political science or history departments.

""... focuses on the concept of historical narrative, the role played by the history and traditions of a people or nation... views supreme judicial decision making when courts look to
history for continuity and stability, including many comparative examples. Relying on French, Canadian, Hungarian, and Czech examples, the author shows that reliance on history may serve a legitimating purpose, but may also be deceptive. Summing Up: Recommended. Comparative law collections; graduate students, researchers, faculty, and
practitioners. - Choice

Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements; Introduction Constitutional Adjudication Haunted by Indeterminacy Chapter One Historical Narratives in Constitutional Reasoning: Intuitions and Myths Revisited Chapter Two An Overview of Arguments Used in Constitutional Adjudication Chapter Three The Constitutional Text in the Light of History Chapter Four Behind Historical Narratives: The Promise of Continuity Chapter Five The Fruits of Reconciliation: A Bittersweet Harvest Conclusion, Index

2005
354 pages
ISBN 978-963-7326-32-5 cloth $47.95 / €44.95 / £40.00
ISBN 978-963-7326-03-5 paperback $24.95 / € 21.95 / £18.99

 

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