Powell and Rothkopf in Algeria, 2018

Kellogg Faculty Fellow and Associate Professor of Political Science Emilia Justyna Powell and Doctoral Affiliate Ilana Rothkopf (political science) recently traveled to Algeria by official invitation from the Algerian Constitutional Council, where they co-organized a workshop and presented a paper.

The workshop, "Secular and Religious Courts in Muslim Majority States: Their Impact and Place in Constitutions," was co-organized with the Constitutional Council and the Centre for Islamic Culture in Oran.

The co-authored paper, "Constitutional Courts in Muslim Majority Countries and Support for the International Court of Justice," is forthcoming in the Journal of Algerian Constitutional Council

Over the past six decades, the constitutions of many Muslim-majority countries have included references to constitutional courts and councils. Constitutional courts protect the rule of law domestically: to embed such a court in the language of the constitution is an institutionalization of the supremacy of law. The question that drives the paper is whether presence of a domestic constitutional court is associated with a country’s international political and legal behavior. In particular, the paper discusses the relationship between domestic constitutional courts, rule of law, and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in 30 Muslim-majority countries by focusing on constitutional language. 

The data shows that after World War II, constitutional oversight has increased in the Muslim milieu. Yet, presence of a domestic constitutional court does not directly translate into a state's support for the International Court of Justice.

Originally published at the Department of Political Science website.