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Cultures of Legality: Judicialization and Political Activism in Latin America


Alexandra Valeria Huneeus


University of Wisconsin Law School

Javier Couso


affiliation not provided to SSRN

Rachel Sieder


affiliation not provided to SSRN

June 2, 2010

STUDIES IN LAW AND SOCIETY, Cambridge University Press, June 2010
Univ. of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1118

Abstract:     
Legal practices and ideas about law are undergoing dramatic change in Latin America. Today, a turn-of-the-century crop of constitutions grants higher courts greater powers; provides long lists of social, economic, and cultural rights; and assigns international treaties constitutional status "or better" within the hierarchy of laws. High courts, in turn, have begun to cast themselves as defenders of rights and to intervene in significant political controversies. And, correspondingly, political claims more often take legal forms. The growing importance of law, legal discourse and legal institutions in the political arena has led scholars to report that a "judicialization of politics" is underway in the region. Our volume explores this landscape of changing legal cultures. Starting with the assumption that formalism is no longer a useful concept for describing Latin American legal cultures "and was in any case always an oversimplification" we explore the repertoires of legal ideas and practices that accompany, cause, and are a consequence of the judicialization of politics.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 36

Keywords: Rights, Judicialization, Latin America, Legal Culture, Law and Politics, Human Rights

JEL Classification: K40

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Date posted: June 2, 2010 ; Last revised: July 23, 2010

Suggested Citation

Huneeus, Alexandra Valeria and Couso, Javier and Sieder, Rachel, Cultures of Legality: Judicialization and Political Activism in Latin America (June 2, 2010). STUDIES IN LAW AND SOCIETY, Cambridge University Press, June 2010; Univ. of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1118. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1619296

Contact Information

Alexandra Valeria Huneeus (Contact Author)
University of Wisconsin Law School ( email )
975 Bascom Mall
Madison, WI 53706
United States
Javier Couso
affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )
No Address Available
Rachel Sieder
affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )
United States
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