This paper examines the way the Ecuadorian Constitutional Court has interpreted and exercised the attribution stated in article 436 (3) of its Constitution. The provision allows the Court “[to declare related norms unconstitutional ex officio, when it concludes that, in the cases under its consideration, one or many of them are contrary to the Constitution]”. The Court has understood that the aforementioned provision grants it the power to review the constitutionality any legal norm –in a broad sense– regardless of whether the plaintiff has expressly challenged its constitutionality, or the issue came to be as a part of a controversy in a concrete case. While many Ecuadorian scholars and lawyers regard this as exceeding the constitutional power of the Court, we hold that this is because they part from a civil law approach to constitutional adjudication, and the assumption that the Ecuadorian arrangement has to fit into the cast of the Austro-German model of constitutional review.
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