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Accountability Functions of Courts: A Framework for Inquiry

  • Siri Gloppen
  • Bruce M. Wilson
  • Roberto Gargarella
  • Elin Skaar
  • Morten Kinander

Abstract

Many countries across the globe have in the past two decades undertaken substantial judicial and legal reforms to strengthen the democratic character of their governments. Yet, the ability and willingness of courts to restrain elected officials vary greatly. This book describes these experiences, analyzes the reasons for existing variations, and helps gain more secure knowledge about the conditions that favor the ability of courts to exercise an effective accountability function. The book describes the experiences of four Latin American and six African cases, and demonstrates the varying ability and willingness of courts to hold other state branches to account. We approach this task through a systematic comparison that is based on theoretically structured thick descriptions with each case focusing on the areas of law where, prima facie, account ability problems seem to be particularly important. Thus, we seek to retain the richness of each country’s experience, while enabling a systematic comparative analysis and a reassessment of central theories in the field. This chapter provides the theoretical foundation for the descriptions in the following empirical case studies and the final chapter, which synthesizes the lessons drawn from the individual cases.

Keywords

Legal Tradition High Court Judicial Independence Modern Democracy Sociopolitical Context 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Bruce M. Wilson 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Siri Gloppen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Bruce M. Wilson
    • 1
    • 3
  • Roberto Gargarella
    • 1
    • 4
    • 5
  • Elin Skaar
    • 1
  • Morten Kinander
    • 2
    • 6
  1. 1.Chr. Michelsen InstituteBergenNorway
  2. 2.University of BergenNorway
  3. 3.University of Central FloridaUSA
  4. 4.Argentina’s National Research Council (CONICET)Argentina
  5. 5.Universities of Torcuato Di Tella and UBA in Buenos AiresArgentina
  6. 6.Wiersholm, Mellbye & BechNorway

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