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Marta Cartabia
The Rule Of Law And The Role Of Courts
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“Constant experience shows us that every man invested with power is apt to abuse it, and to carry his authority as far as it will go. […] To prevent this abuse, it is necessary from the very nature of things that power should be a check to power”. Contemporary Europe is facing once again the bitter truth that the rule of law is always at risk. Unexpectedly powerful leaders supported by strong majorities have dismantled all restraints; the separation of powers has been eroded and the rule of law, as well as judicial independence, are under attack. Many international actors are sounding the alarm and sending warnings in the form of recommendations, resolutions and other documents: from the institutions of the European Union to the Council of Europe and the Venice Commission. Risks for judicial independence and the separation of powers have always been there: at the time of the Act of Settlement of 1701 and under the constitutional monarchies in the XIX centuries, not to speak of the authoritarian regimes between the two world wars.

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