`The importance of this book lies not only in its detailed examination of the Council but in forcing us to rethink simplistic distinctions between legislative and judicial institutions; it is of considerable relevance to current debates on the British constitution.'Political Studies`Alec Stone has written a comprehensive description of the inception and subsequent evolution of the French Constitutional Council, but he has also done much more ... He demonstrates that he is well-versed in the literature of comparative politics and he capably applies it to judicial institutions ... This is a rich book and one that can be profitably read by students of judicial and comparative politics and by those whose inclinations lie in jurisprudence and law ... I find the overall quality and value of the book to be most impressive.'West European Politics
Reseña del editor
The French Constitutional Council, a quasi-judicial body created at the dawn of the Fifth Republic, functioned in relative obscurity for almost two decades before emerging in the 1980s as a pivotal actor in the French policymaking process. Alec Stone focuses on how this once docile institution, through its practice of constitutional review, has become an important autonomous actor in the French political system. After examining the formal prohibition against judicial review in France, Stone illustrates how politicians and the Council have collaborated, often unintentionally and in the service of contradictory agendas, to enhance the Council's power significantly in the last decade. While the Council came to function as a third house of Parliament, the legislative work of the government and Parliament was "juridicized". Through a discussion of broad theoretical issues, Stone then expands the scope of his analysis to the politics of constitutional review in Germany, Spain, and Austria.