Constitutional Interpretation and Foreign Law: A Comparative Analysis between the U.S. Supreme Court and the German Federal Constitutional Court

Mher Arshakyan, Jacopo Paffarini, Márcio Ricardo Staffen

Resumo


The central purpose of this paper is to show that there are no major differences in the methods of constitutional interpretation in countries with varying degree of judicial review. Despite the fact that legal culture and traditions, underlying political theories, and values all affect methods of interpretation, there is no big gap in constitutional interpretation in practice in view of wide interpretive discretion. Obviously all legal systems require compliance with some fundamental interpretive standards irrespective of the legal system, and in a democratic society judicial decisions should be justified at least to avoid arbitrariness. The question is what are the limits beyond which judges cannot go in constitutional democracies? Can the foreign law be a parameter for judicial review of legislation? Hence, the style and method of legal argumentation that are used to justify the decision may differ in the countries belonging to different legal systems. Whether there are significant differences between the common law and civil law constitutional interpretation will be assessed through the comparative analysis of the United States Supreme Court and the German Federal Constitutional Court.


Palavras-chave


Constitutional interpretation; Constitutional Courts; Judicial review

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Referências


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.21056/aec.v16i66.363

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