Constitutional review

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Constitutional review, or constitutionality review or constitutional control, is the evaluation, in some countries, of the constitutionality of the laws. It is supposed to be a system of preventing violation of the rights granted by the constitution, assuring its efficacy, their stability and preservation.[1]


There are very specific situations in which the constitutional review differs from common law to civil law, as well as the judicial review in general.[2]


In the countries that have written and rigid constitutions, they (the constitutions) represent the supreme norm of the juridical order, sited on the top of the pyramid of norms. It's named as fundamental law, supreme law, law of the laws, biggest law. That biggest law asks for more difficult and formal procedures for updating than the other juridical norms (named sub-constitutional). Although this is usually characterized as a civil law speciality, some of the concepts here can be inherited from common law countries which have written constitutions; for instance, USA, that, paradoxally, in timeline, was the first to adopt the diffuse review.


The judicial control of constitutionality applies to the normative acts too.[3]

History: Marbury v. Madison - the first precedent[edit]

The first precedent in which the American Supreme Court asserted its power of constitutional control was the Marbury v. Madison.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Mavcic, Arne (2001). The Constitutional Review (PDF).
  2. ^ Ferejohn, John E. "Judicial Review in Global Context" (PDF). NYU Law. Retrieved 6 July 2012.
  3. ^ "Study on Individual Access to Constitutional Justice" (PDF). Council of Europe - Venice Commission. Retrieved 6 July 2012.