The New East European Constitutional Courts

This article will describe some aspects of the different tribunals in Russia, Hungary, Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, and Romania, and will compare them with each other and with the U.S. Supreme Court. The first part will begin by explaining a few basic differences between the American and Continental systems of judicial review, and will then describe the functions of the new East European constitutional courts. The second part will use the decisions of the new Russian Constitutional Court to illustrate the new courts’ exercise of authority, and will summarize the recent activities of a few other new constitutional courts.