“Which democracy: Questioning Courts as Democracy Builders”

Literature on democratization poses a strong emphasis on belief in constitutional courts as building tools for democracy. More recently, however, critical views of this correlation have been presented, especially regarding democratic consolidation. Hirschl questions the construction of a “Juristocracy,” whereby the empowerment of the courts leads to a gradual shift from the legislative to the judiciary as the final instance of political decisions. Daly, on the other hand, questions the supposed efficacy of constitutional courts as tools of democracy building and consolidation, especially when qualitative evaluation is brought to the equation. Further on, underlying the defense of this tool as indispensable for a successful democratization process, there is a specific, non-neutral, paradigm of democracy, which leads to the promotion of certain tools, in detriment of others. In order to contribute to that debate, this paradigm is to be investigated, as proposed in the paper.