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The criterion of apparent (un)reasonableness in the jurisprudence of the Belgian Constitutional Court

The Belgian Constitutional Court (BeCC) takes a central role in the Belgian legal system. It checks whether the laws issued by the legislator are in accordance with the provisions of the Belgian Constitution. The so-called criterion of “apparent unreasonableness” is commonly used during this process. Many controversial legal initiatives were found constitutional on its basis.  Nevertheless, the concept has received little to no attention in Belgian legal doctrine. Because judicial review by a constitutional court is a central legitimizing element in a democratic state, this knowledge gap is unacceptable.  

The purpose of this research project is to clarify the criterion of “apparent unreasonablenesss”. It relies on a comparative legal study of judicial scrutiny in the USA, UK, Germany and France, as well as on a comprehensive qualitative analysis of the case-law of the BeCC.

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