A constitutional court
is a high court
that deals primarily with constitutional law
. Its main authority is to rule on whether laws that are challenged are in fact unconstitutional
, i.e. whether they conflict with constitutionally established rules, rights, and freedoms, among other things.
Austrian Constitutional Court
VfGH), the oldest constitutional court in the world, resided in the building of the former Böhmische Hofkanzlei
(English: Bohemian Court Chancellery), Judenplatz 11 in Vienna
In 1919 the First Austrian Republic
established the first dedicated constitutional court, the Constitutional Court of Austria
, which however existed in name only until 10 October 1920, when the country's new constitution
came into effect, upon which the court gained the power to review the laws of Austria's federal states
The Czechoslovakian Constitution of 1920
, which came into effect on 2 February 1920, was the first to provide for a dedicated court for judicial review of parliamentary laws, but the court did not convene until November 1921. The organization and competences of both courts were influenced by constitutional theories of Hans Kelsen
Subsequently, this idea of having a separate special constitutional court that only heard cases concerning the constitutionality of the national legislature's acts became known as the Austrian System
, and it was subsequently adopted by many other countries e.g. Liechtenstein
The list in this article is of 63 countries that have a separate constitutional court. Many countries do not have separate constitutional courts, but instead delegate constitutional judicial authority to their general court system, with the final decision-making power resting in the supreme court
. Nonetheless, such courts are sometimes also called "constitutional courts". For example, the Supreme Court of the United States
has been called the world's oldest constitutional court
because it was one of the earliest courts in the world to invalidate a law as unconstitutional (Marbury v. Madison
), even though it is not a separate constitutional court, hearing as it does cases not touching on the Constitution.
Countries with separate constitutional courts include:
- ^ Constitutional Court of Austria - HistoryArchived 2012-08-26 at the Wayback Machine
- ^ Romeu F.R., The Establishment of Constitutional Courts: A Study of 128 Democratic Constitutions, „Review of Law & Economics”, 2 (1), Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2006, p. 104.
- ^ Liptak, Adam (September 17, 2008). "U.S. Court Is Now Guiding Fewer Nations". The New York Times. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
- ^ Mauro Lenci, The battle over "democracy". In Oddens, Joris; Rutjes, Mart; Jacobs, Erik (2015-05-01). The political culture of the sister republics, 1794-1806: France, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and Italy. Amsterdam University Press. ISBN 9789048522415.
- ^ http://www.tribunalconstitucional.ao/
Last edited on 3 May 2021, at 00:11
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