1st Edition

Judicial Activism in an Age of Populism

Edited By Sonja Grover Copyright 2023

    This book explores the range of meanings attributed to the terms ‘judicial activism’ and ‘populism’ in contemporary times and examines the potential interplay between these two phenomena. Drawing upon various political examples, it discusses the implication of populist movements for democratic institutions, policies, and processes.

    The chapters in this volume examine the impact of populism on judicial decision-making in various socio-cultural contexts. The contributing authors explore the implications of populist beliefs, including those which promote anti-democratic perspectives, on the integrity, independence, and the role of the judiciary in a democratic society. This volume offers unique international perspectives on the concern that populist initiatives may be and continue to be a threat to democratic foundational values and principles.

    Judicial Activism in an Age of Populism will be a beneficial read for students of Politics, Sociology, Public Administration and Management, and Law and Society. It was originally published as a special issue of The International Journal of Human Rights.


    Sonja Grover 

    1. The impact of populism on constitutional interpretation in the EU Member States 

    Zoltán Szente and Fruzsina Gárdos-Orosz 

    2. The instrumental abuse of constitutional courts: how populists can use constitutional courts against the opposition 

    Michal Kovalčík  

    3. (De-)judicialization of politics in the era of populism: lessons from Central and Eastern Europe 

    Jan Petrov 

    4. Authoritarian populism, conceptions of democracy, and the Hungarian Constitutional Court: the case of political participation 

    Max Steuer 

    5. Through selective activism towards greater resilience: the Czech Constitutional Court’s interventions into high politics in the age of populism 

    Hubert Smekal, Jaroslav Benák and Ladislav Vyhnánek 

    6. Judicial activism, populism and counterterrorism legislation in Kenya: coalition for Reform and democracy (CORD) & 2 others v Republic of Kenya & 10; others [2015] 

    Oscar Gakuo Mwangi 

    7. Pandemic and community’s sense of justice through suo motu in India  

    Tarun Arora 

    8. Abortion, same-sex marriage, and gender identity during the Pink Tide: Venezuela compared to Latin American trends 

    Victor Molina 


    Sonja Grover is Full Professor at the Faculty of Education at Lakehead University, Canada. She graduated with a PhD from the University of Toronto, Canada. She has devoted more than 20 years to law research, publishing numerous law books and articles in peer-reviewed international law journals. She is Associate Editor of The International Journal of Human Rights.