The judicial review of constitutional amendments in Brazil and his democratic importance considering the specificities of the Constitution of 1988

The discussion about the democratic viability of the judicial review of constitutional amendments has become increasingly important considering the worldwide threats of disfiguring reforms. It is important to discuss: “Is it a good practice?”. In general, the doctrine is divided among those who: (a) accept the practice as a way to protect the constitutional text; (b) refute this type of review because it gives exorbitant powers to the judiciary. Brazil’s case, in this context, has to be analyzed taking under consideration some specificities of the Constitution of 1988: (i) a long and detailed text; (ii) a facilitated constitutional reform process; (iii) a long list of entrenched clauses. These characteristics result in numerous amendments (99 reforms in 30 years). In addition, they make the constitution very vulnerable to abuse. Thus, the judicial review of constitutional amendments becomes a much more acceptable instrument for democracy in Brazil than in a number of other countries.