Journal Article

The Easy Core Case for Judicial Review

Alon Harel and Tsvi Kahana

in Journal of Legal Analysis

Published on behalf of The John M. Olin Center for Law, Economics and Business at Harvard Law School with the support of the Considine Family Foundation

Volume 2, issue 1, pages 227-256
Published in print January 2010 | ISSN: 2161-7201
Published online January 2010 | e-ISSN: 1946-5319 | DOI:
The Easy Core Case for Judicial Review

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This paper defends judicial review on the ground that judicial review is necessary for protecting “a right to a hearing.” Judicial review is praised by its advocates on the basis of instrumentalist reasons; i.e., because of its desirable contingent consequences such as protecting rights, promoting democracy, maintaining stability, etc. We argue that instrumentalist justifications for judicial review are bound to fail and that an adequate defense of judicial review requires justifying it on non-instrumentalist grounds. A non-instrumentalist justification grounds judicial review in essential attributes of the judicial process.

In searching for a non-instrumental justification, we establish that judicial review is designed to protect the right to a hearing. The right to a hearing consists of three components: the opportunity to voice a grievance, the opportunity to be provided with a justification for a decision that impinges (or may have impinged) on one's rights, and the duty to reconsider the initial decision giving rise to the grievance. The right to a hearing is valued independently of the merits of the decisions generated by the judicial process.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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