Authors:Larissa Adler Lomnitz and Dianar Sheinbaum
Eek, D. and Rothstein, B. (2001): The casual mechanism between trust in authorities and trust in others: An experimental approach . Research Proposal to the Swedish Science Council (grant awarded November 2001
After the fall of authoritarian communist regimes and emergence of constitutional governments, constitutional review systems were designed in Central and Eastern Europe. Post-communist systems mostly followed the French and German models of abstract and concentrated review, with courts’ powers stemming from the Constitution and determined by the legislator. How can constitutional courts limit governmental power, and to what degree can they resist political attempts to alter their competence—these are the questions to which answer are sought referencing two recent Hungarian and Romanian constitutional court decisions. The two courts had to face different challenges and go down different paths—significantly departing even from their respective “traditional” stances—and they both arrived at controversial findings. This paper argues that it has not been primarily a problem of constitutional design, but rather contextual factors that have amplified the weaknesses of the system and consequently led to growing disenchantment and diminishing trust in the guardians of constitution.