In our discussions of the budget process we usually assume that budget making is the sole prerogative of chief executives and legislatures. It is no longer so. Increasingly in many countries the courts intervene in every phase of the budget process at all levels of government. The intrusion may be sporadic, as is true in most countries where the courts are free to interpret constitution and budget laws. Or it may be intensive, as in the United States where court decisions affect budget formulation, appropriations, budget implementation, investment programs, debt financing, intergovernmental grants, legislative-executive relations in budgeting, and the financing of public enterprises. In the latter, possibly extreme situation, the courts frequently determine funding levels, service standards, staffing patterns, salaries, and even budget procedures.

Issues and Country Studies
Editor: A. Premchand