Who Decides in Last Resort? Elected Officials and Judges
The recent deficit crisis has posed once again the question who decides in last resort on important matters in modern democracies: the Executive, the bureaucrats, Parliament or the judges? Beyond its institutional aspects, the question raises important philosophical and moral issues. To what extent elected officials may bind the freedom of forthcoming generations to decide on their own welfare? And who are the best fit institutions to stop elected majorities from endangering their country’s future? Based on precedents drawn from modern European and Greek history, the speaker approaches the problem from both a political and an institutional standpoint. His conclusion is that the adoption of a balanced budget constitutional amendment, which would necessarily involve judges in the economic decision making process, is not the best way to face a problem, which remains deeply political.