Polarization – A Comparative Perspective

This Article attempts, for the first time, to describe and typologize the effects of polarization on constitutional and supreme courts around the world. I identify three models of such effects, which I term “court polarization”: mirror polarization (the US) – in which the court mirrors the political division in society; one-side polarization (the UK and Westminster model countries) – in which the court reflects one side of the political divide more than the other; and cracks in consensus-based nomination processes (Continental Europe) – in which the nomination of constitutional judges which was based on consensus is being challenged by the rise of fringe parties. These three models help understand the interrelation between general polarization and court polarization and the effects of political and judicial structures on court polarization. It can also help selecting the more effective strategy in dealing with court polarization – resisting or accommodating it.