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Courts and democracies in Asia

Yap, Po Jen, author

Publication Details Click to collapse Cite/Export

  • Creator Po Jen Yap
  • Format Books
  • Publication Cambridge, United Kingdom ; New York, NY : Cambridge University Press, 2017. ©2017
  • Series
  • Physical Details
    • xviii, 232 pages ; 24 cm
  • ISBNs 9781107192621, 1107192625, 9781316642559, 1316642550
  • OCLC ocn995005298


  • "What is the relationship between the strength of a country's democracy and the ability of its courts to address deficiencies in the electoral process? Drawing a distinction between democracies that can be characterised as 'dominant-party' (for example Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong), 'dynamic' (for example India, South Korea, and Taiwan), and 'fragile' (for example Thailand, Pakistan, and Bangladesh), this book explores how democracy sustains and is sustained by the exercise of judicial power. In dominant-party systems, courts can only pursue 'dialogic' pathways to constrain the government's authoritarian tendencies. On the other hand, in dynamic democracies, courts can more successfully innovate and make systemic changes to the electoral system. Finally, in fragile democracies, where a country regularly oscillates between martial law and civilian rule, their courts tend to consistently overreach, and this often facilitates or precipitates a hostile take-over by the armed forces, and lead to the demise of the rule of law"--


  • Includes bibliographical references and index.


  • 1. Introduction -- Part I. Dominant-Party Democracies -- 2. Supreme Court of Singapore and the promise of enforceable constitutional conventions -- 3. Malaysian courts and electoral fraud -- 4. Hong Kong Courts and constitutional contradictions -- Part II. Dynamic Democracies -- 5. Supreme Court of India and criminality in politics -- 6. Constitutional court of Taiwan and calibrated judicial review -- 7. Constitutional court of Korea and systemic electoral barriers -- Part III. Fragile Democracies -- 8. Constitutional court of Thailand and partisan judges -- 9. Supreme Court of Pakistan: accommodation and defiance of military authority -- 10. Supreme Court of Bangladesh and defensive judicial review -- Part IV. Democratic Values and Courts in Comparative Perspective -- 11. Democratic values and the conundrum of unconstitutional constitutional amendments -- 12. Conclusion