One area which has been generally overlooked in the literature on institutional choice in post communist politics has been the design of judicial institutions. This paper seeks to evaluate a number of different explanations for judicial systems choice in post communist politics, especially those which emphasize the influence of socio-cultural factors, economic factors, the judicial legacies of the past, and political bargaining. As an empirical test of these explanations, we examine variations in the amount of judicial power that constitution makers granted to the constitutional courts in the countries of the former Soviet Union, Mongolia, and Eastern Europe.

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