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Cover Introducing Political Philosophy

10. Judicial Review and Democracy  

William Abel, Elizabeth Kahn, Tom Parr, and Andrew Walton

This chapter argues that the state should use judicial review to constrain democracy. It identifies several rights that individuals possess, and then defends judicial review as a mechanism for protecting these rights. The chapter then considers the objection that judicial review is undemocratic because it constrains the laws that an electorate or their representatives might adopt. To explore this idea, it distinguishes two arguments in defence of democracy. The first holds that democracy is valuable because it produces good outcomes, and the second holds that democracy is valuable because it treats each member of a society equally when they disagree about which outcomes are good.