Güneş Murat Tezcür, 2009. "Judicial Activism in Perilous Times: The Turkish Case," Law & Society Review 43(2): 305-336.
Under what circumstances do courts act in ways that challenge the political hegemony of the military in countries with weak democratic institutions? This article addresses this question by focusing on a critical case of judicial activism in Turkey. It argues that lower courts unexpectedly can be centers of judicial activism that contributes to expansion of civil liberties and restrictions on arbitrary state power when the high judiciary supports the political status quo. This is because lower courts provide greater access to legal mobilization pursued by civil society actors. At the same time, judicial activism in lower courts is sustainable only when political power is distributed among elites with conflicting interests, and the civilian government offers support and protection to activist members of the judiciary.