Utilising the Judiciary to Reject the Popular Will? Legal Mobilization after the Arab Uprising in Kuwait

Discussion Papers

No.653

by Hirotake ISHIGURO

March 2017

ABSTRACT

This study examines the role of the judiciary in the political process after the Arab Uprising, focusing on a Constitutional Court and its judgements in a case where the popular will was rejected via a judicial ruling. In particular, I will analyse a case of Kuwait where the Constitutional Court declared election void and ordered the dissolution of parliament, after the opposition had won a stable majority. This case conjures images of legal mobilization by the regime; however, considering the political context where the government and parliament were in a serious ongoing conflict, the constitutional rulings by the Constitutional Court can be evaluated as a mediator intended to ease the stalemate and prevent a fall into a more serious crisis concurrent with the political upheaval in other Arab countries.

Keywords: legal mobilization, judicialization of politics, democratization, Kuwait
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