Journal Article

Claiming individual rights through a constitutional court: The example of gays in Costa Rica

Bruce M. Wilson

in International Journal of Constitutional Law

Published on behalf of The New York University School of Law

Volume 5, issue 2, pages 242-257
Published in print April 2007 | ISSN: 1474-2640
Published online April 2007 | e-ISSN: 1474-2659 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icon/mom010
Claiming individual rights through a constitutional court: The example of gays in Costa Rica

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In 1989, a newly created Constitutional Court (Sala IV) immediately became a highly active court, ending over 160 years of Costa Rican judicial inactivity. The magistrates’ actions breathed new life into the Constitution, ended judicial deference to elected officials, and consequently transformed Costa Rican political life. Simultaneously, the Sala IV magistrates assumed the role of guardians of constitutional rights, giving rise to what is frequently described as a rights revolution. The article sheds light on the sudden relevance of the forty-year-old Constitutional document through an examination of the institutional rules and procedures under which the new Court operates, and it examines the successes and failures of one of the country's most marginalized groups in seeking protection of their constitutional rights from the Court.

Journal Article.  7462 words. 

Subjects: Constitutional and Administrative Law ; UK Politics

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