Judicial review is a growing institution. Originating in the United States two centuries ago, the power to declare governmental action, whether legislative or executive, unconstitutional has spread around the world in the last half century. A carefully designed and properly limited constitutional court could be of inestimable benefit to the creation of the rule of law. Equally, a badly designed constitutional court, with unspecified or poorly specified powers, can become an object of political struggle, an impediment to democracy, and a negative influence on the development of the legal system.