Cultures of Legality: Judicialization and Political Activism in Latin America

STUDIES IN LAW AND SOCIETY, Cambridge University Press, June 2010

Univ. of Wisconsin Legal Studies Research Paper No. 1118

36 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2010 Last revised: 23 Jul 2010

Alexandra Valeria Huneeus

University of Wisconsin Law School

Javier Couso

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Rachel Sieder

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: June 2, 2010

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.

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

JEL Classification: K40

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: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1619296

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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