This panel invites discussion on the role of Latin American judiciaries and the methodological approaches to researching them. How have they responded to shifting inter-branch relations, transitional justice and a more assertive Inter-American Court? Does legal culture play a role in the process?
This panel invites discussion on the role of Latin America judiciaries and of the methodological approaches to studying these institutions. In recent decades, courts in many Latin America countries have been thrown into the spotlight with the advent of transitional justice, the strengthening of the Inter-American System of Human Rights, and the shifting role in inter-branch relations. Responses to these challenges vary across the continent, but what are the diverse socio-political, historical and institutional factors which have produced these different outcomes? Why have active Constitutional Courts emerged in some countries, and state-perpetrated abuses have been held to account more fervently in some countries than others? Has judicial reform played a role in creating more responsive and active courts? What insights can we learn from the informal institutions operating in the various legal cultures regarding the process of institutional change? How has the judiciary dealt with demands presented by new social and political actors or by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights? This panel welcomes papers from across the continent to address the issues of judicial behaviour, judicial reform, legal culture, and inter-branch relations, etc to assess the comparative merits of these processes, and the implications for Latin America and further afield. The panel also welcomes papers that address the methodological approaches and innovations applied to examine judicial actors, practice and outcomes.