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Abusive Constitutional BorrowingLegal globalization and the subversion of liberal democracy$
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Rosalind Dixon and David Landau

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780192893765

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2021

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780192893765.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 04 December 2021

The Abuse of Constitutional Rights

The Abuse of Constitutional Rights

(p.56) 4 The Abuse of Constitutional Rights
Abusive Constitutional Borrowing

Rosalind Dixon

David Landau

Oxford University Press

This chapter shows how constitutional rights, which have become a nearly universal hallmark of liberal democratic constitutionalism, can be abused for anti-democratic ends. It offers a series of examples, running across different forms of rights and contexts. It shows how hate speech and ‘memory’ laws have been abused in Rwanda, Poland, and Russia, how voting rights were turned to authoritarian ends in Hungary and Fiji, how gender quotas advanced anti-democratic agendas in Rwanda, and how a sham commitment to environmental rights helped to shore up support for an authoritarian agenda in Ecuador. Examples of the abuse of constitutional rights in fact show up in many other chapters of this book, reflecting the centrality of modern rights discourse to liberal democracy.

Keywords:   constitutional rights, human rights, environmental rights, gender quotas, memory laws, hate speech laws, genocide, equality, voting rights

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