Recent works by Jeremy Waldron and Richard Bellamy (amongst others) emphasise the counter-majoritarian features of judicial review, criticising the institution as undemocratic because it overbears the will of the people. However, this type of argument does not survive close scrutiny. The system of representative democracy allows for ‘rule by the people’ in only a limited sense: a negative, ‘checking’ power over the actions of representatives. It permits only limited participation by citizens and does not give citizens rule in a voluntaristic sense at all: it does not give them any power to have their preferences reflected in the decisions of government. Because of this, representative democracy does not lead to the expression of a ‘popular will’ and so judicial review cannot be said to overbear this. Judicial review is indeed defensible as a democratic institution because it offers individuals the opportunity to challenge political power, thus vindicating the right to political equality that is at the core of democracy. In this sense, judges engaged in judicial review can be said to be exercising a function similar to that of the Tribunes of the ancient Roman republic.