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spt1/2013

Constitutional Court in the Process of Building of a Rechtsstaat

Sažetak

In this paper the author examines the role the constitutional court plays in the democratization process. The constitutionalization of the polity is one of the core elements of the democratic transformation in which the institutional framework for the coupling of the law and the politics is set, and the boundaries of the state’s intervention in the individual freedoms and liberties are defined. Yet the constitution as a legal text is not sufficient for the establishment of a substantive constitutionalism, but it can serve as a façade for a pseudo-democratic order. In order to underpin the rule of law, to prevent the concentration of (political) power, and to protect human rights, most states that have undergone the democratization process have established a constitutional court. Subject to the condition that the constitutional court enjoys sufficient guaranties for institutional stability, legitimacy, and political neutrality, it can be a progressive and stabilizing player in the democratization process. Yet the court must attain a balance with respect to the political effects of its decisions, and not to intervene in the discretional areas of policy-making. Ultimately the implementation of the constitutional court’s decisions depends on the political elite for a rationale for why court acts strategically and with self-restraint. In Serbia the power of the constitutional court to influence the democratization process is burden with some difficulties. There have been constant blocks and delays in the appointment of the court’s judges, with the court becoming fully operational not until 2010. Given the low degree of legitimacy and authority of the Serbian constitution, it is very difficult for the constitutional court to impose the authority of the constitution to the political players. Yet the constitutional court occasionally delivers decisions that influence the transformation process. Nevertheless, the implementation of the court’s decisions is selective.

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PERIODIKA Serbian Political Thought 1/2013 UDC 342.565.2:340.131 37-58
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