Elin Skaar

Senior Researcher, Coordinator: Rights and Legal Institutions

Accountability Function of Courts in New Democracies

This project aims to investigate to what extent - and under which conditions - courts in new and fragile democracies have been able to say 'no' when the executive branch has overstepped its democratic mandate. The research is undertaken in collaboration with local researchers in the regions, as well as international scholars in the field. Preliminary findings are presented in a special issue of "Democratization" (2003), aslo published as a book on "Democratization and the Judiciary: The Accountability Function of Courts in New Democracies" (London: Frank Cass Publishers, 2004). The latest book, Courts and Power in Africa and Latin America, developes a more stringent methodological framework for investigating the accountability function of courts and systematically applies this to selected countries in Latin America and Africa. This project is part of the "Courts in Transition" research programme (SIP).