Domestic and regional human rights courts around the world are under pressure. Populist, illiberal, or autocratic forms of governance have led to a global attack on constitutional democracy, and its guardians, courts. As a result, courts find themselves in a dilemma: should they intervene much more fiercely to uphold the rule of law or protect their institutional powers, but risk to be further attacked as enemies of the government and the majorities? Or should they practice judicial and prudential restraint to safeguard their institutional autonomy in the long term, but risk to be failing and regarded as foes by minority groups, civil society, and progressive movements who are on the receiving end of populist, illiberal or autocratic practices?
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