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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Comparative Constitutional Law [MPECCoL]

Supremacy / Primacy

M Elvira Méndez-Pinedo


Published under the direction of the Max Planck Foundation for International Peace and the Rule of Law.
General Editors: Rainer Grote, Frauke Lachenmann, Rüdiger Wolfrum.

1. If supremacy is understood as the quality or state of having more power, authority, sovereign dominion, pre-eminence or status than anyone else in general ( Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Synonyms ), we can define legal supremacy as the highest authority of some (fundamental) norms, institutions or branches of power in a certain legal system. Beyond this broad and universal definition, however, it is necessary to make a clear differentiation between the distinctive concepts of constitutional supremacy (primacy of constitutional norms over ordinary law) and...
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