Abusive Constitutional Borrowing: A Panel Discussion
We live in a golden age of comparative constitutional law. Liberal democratic ideas have diffused readily around the world, and certain features such as judicial review and constitutional rights are now nearly universal. At the same time, recent years have seen a pronounced trend towards the erosion of democracy. And in their new book, Abusive Constitutional Borrowing (Forthcoming, OUP 2021), David Landau and Rosalind Dixon argue that the rhetorical triumph of liberal democratic constitutionalism, and the tendency towards democratic retrenchment, are fully consistent phenomena. Legal globalization has a dark side: norms intended to protect and promote liberal democratic constitutionalism can often readily be used to undermine it. Abusive constitutional borrowing involves the appropriation of liberal democratic constitutional designs, concepts, and doctrines to advance authoritarian projects.