Journal Article

The issue of state action/horizontal effect in comparative constitutional law

Mark Tushnet

in International Journal of Constitutional Law

Published on behalf of The New York University School of Law

Volume 1, issue 1, pages 79-98
Published in print January 2003 | ISSN: 1474-2640
Published online January 2003 | e-ISSN: 1474-2659 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icon/1.1.79
The issue of state action/horizontal effect in comparative constitutional law

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  • Constitutional and Administrative Law
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This article examines the horizontal effect of constitutional norms (or the “state action” problem) in several constitutional systems. It argues that the difficulty of the issue varies depending on two features of such systems, their structures and their ideological commitments. Systems with generalized and centralized constitutional courts will find the issue of horizontal effect easier than systems with specialized constitutional courts, and particularly systems with strongly federal arrangements. Systems with greater commitments to social democratic norms will find the issue easier than systems with weaker social democratic commitments. The article also examines ways of resolving the state action problem, either through substantive constitutional doctrine or through weak forms of judicial review as illustrated by the Grootboom decision of South Africa's Constitutional Court.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law ; UK Politics

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