26 April 2016

New book: Judges as Guardians of Constitutionalism and Human Rights

Judges as Guardians of Constitutionalism and Human Rights, a new book edited and authored by a number of researchers at the Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen, has just been published with Edward Elgar Publishing.

Edited by Martin Scheinin ( Department of Law, European University Institute), Helle Krunke ( CECS, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen), and Marina Aksenova ( iCourts, Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen), the book is the result of collaboration between research centres at three universities:


The book is the outcome of a colloquium held at EUI in November 2014 by the three research centres. Some of members of the Faculty of Law, University of Copenhagen who contributed to the edited volume include: Antoni Abat i Ninet, Ebrahim Afsah, Marina Aksenova, David Thór Björgvinsson, David Jenkins, and Helle Krunke.

Book Information:

There are many challenges that national and supranational judges have to face when fulfilling their roles as guardians of constitutionalism and human rights. This book brings together academics and judges from different jurisdictions in an endeavour to uncover the intricacies of the judicial function. 

The contributors discuss several points that each represent contemporary challenges to judging: analysis of judicial balancing of conflicting considerations; the nature of courts’ legitimacy and its alleged dependence on public support; the role of judges in upholding constitutional values in the times of transition to democracy, surveillance and the fight against terrorism; and the role of international judges in guaranteeing globally recognized fundamental rights and freedoms.

This book will be of interest to human rights scholars focusing on the issues of judicial oversight, as well as constitutional law scholars interested in comparative perspectives on the role of judges in different contexts. It will also be useful to national constitutional court judges, and law clerks aiming to familiarise themselves with judicial practices within other jurisdictions.

Critical Acclaim:
Constitutionalism is a system whereby legislatures and governments are bound by higher norms, often human rights norms. In this book, the focus is on the role of national and international courts in upholding these norms. Some observers say that there is nowadays an erosion of the rule of law and human rights. The book comes at the right time. It reminds the courts of their responsibility in this area, and public authorities of the need to respect their decisions.
– Paul Lemmens, Judge, European Court of Human Rights

A copy of the book, ‘Judges as Guardians of Constitutionalism and Human Rights, can be purchased here with a 35% discount using the code SCHN35 for a limited period.