The Assault on Postcommunist Courts

Issue Date July 2016
Volume 27
Issue 3
Page Numbers 69-82
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In the last 25 years, constitutional courts have been major players in the governance of Central and Eastern Europe, and were arguably the most important defenders of the rule of law in the region. Yet the last few years have exposed the institutional fragility of constitutional courts in the face of illiberal democracy, as several countries have moved to pack the courts. Without quick and sustained pressure, the dismantling of the hard fought freedoms associated with the rule of law will succeed, and we will again speak of an Eastern Europe that is closer to Russia than to the West.