in: Oxford scholarship online
In this text, Alec Stone Sweet and Jud Mathews focus on the law and politics of rights protection in democracies, and in human rights regimes in Europe, the Americas, and Africa. After introducing the basic features of modern constitutions, with their emphasis on rights and judicial review, the authors present a theory of proportionality that explains why constitutional judges embraced it. Proportionality analysis is a highly intrusive mode of judicial supervision: it permits state officials to limit rights, but only when necessary to achieve a sufficiently important public interest. Since the 1950s, virtually every powerful domestic and international court has adopted proportionality analysis as the central method for protecting rights.