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In comparative constitutional law, the various models of judicial review require courts to examine either the substantive content of legislation or the procedure through which legislation was passed. This article offers a new model of judicial review - 'the judicial review of legality' - in which courts review instead the forms of law. The forms of law are the ways in which law communicates its norms to the persons who are meant to comply with them, and they include generality, clarity, avoidance of contradiction, and non-retroactivity. Drawing on recent writing on the jurisprudence of Lon Fuller, this article argues that Fuller's linking of the forms of law to a relationship of reciprocity between government and governed can ground judicial review and that such review provides a missing language to address important legislative pathologies. Moreover, through an analysis of recent developments in Israel, the article demonstrates that the judicial review of legality targets some of the key legal techniques of contemporary processes of democratic erosion which other models of judicial review struggle to address, all the while re-centring judicial review on the lawyer's craftsmanship and thus reducing problems of court legitimacy. This article therefore offers a distinctive and normatively appealing way for courts to act in troubling times.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)403-435
Number of pages33
JournalUniversity of Toronto Law Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2022


  • authoritarian legalism
  • constitutional law
  • judicial review
  • legal theory
  • Lon Fuller

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law


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