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Socio-Economic Constitutional Rights in Democratisation Processes

An Account of the Constitutional Dialogue Theory


Anna Jaron

Is constitutional jurisprudence on socio-economic rights a threat to democracies? How powerful are constitutional courts in this field? Is it possible to restrain judicial activism in socio-economic adjudication? Through reference to constitutional dialogue theory, this book shows constitutional adjudication in socio-economic matters through the lenses of constitutional pluralism and intra-institutional deliberation. The experiences of nascent Central-Eastern European democracies which have undergone democratic changes in early 90ies of the 20th century are particularly interesting as a case study. The example of Polish, Czech and Slovak constitutional acquis are used to encourage the mechanisms that legitimize the role of constitutional courts in the field of socio-economic adjudication.


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PART II SOCIO-ECONOMIC RIGHTS’ CONSTITUTIONALISATION IN POLAND, THE CZECH REPUBLIC AND SLOVAKIA Chapter 3 Constitutional Debates: Similarities and Differences The inclusion of social and economic rights in the constitutions of Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia was one of the most pertinent issues of the constitu- tional debates in these countries in the 1990s. The major regime change from communism to democracy mainly intensified discussions over the constitutional enforcement of individual rights in the newborn democracies, what was an expres- sion of a need to guarantee stable and reliable mechanisms that regulate the rela- tionship between the state and individuals. In the early phase of the constitutional debates, largely dominated by emerging political elites,120 ideologically driven pro- posals on how to formulate and define constitutional rights were put forward. The scale of socio-economic rights advocacy took different dimensions in these three countries, not only because of the diverging design of constitutional debates but also because of the differences in the structures of the three constitutions. One of the important factors that has influenced the make-up of constitutional debates was perhaps the already mentioned role of political elites in the three countries. Sec- ondly, the timing and the length of debates, which consequently affected the quality of constitutional debates of that time, indirectly influenced the manner in which individual rights have been written in the constitutions. Moreover, organisation of the text of constitutions as well as references and influences of external factors, such as international law, formalized the rights contained...

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