• Rachel Sieder
  • Line Schjolden
  • Alan Angell
Part of the Studies of the Americas book series (STAM)


Since the 1980s, courts—supreme courts, constitutional courts, and lower courts—have been playing an increasingly important political role across Latin America. This is taking place not only in countries which have reestablished democracy after periods of prolonged military rule, but also in countries that escaped the breakdown of their civilian regimes (Colombia and Costa Rica), and in contexts of acute regime crisis (Venezuela). It would be wrong to exaggerate the contrast between a currently activist judiciary and a previously passive one. Courts have been significant political actors in some countries during specific periods in the twentieth century, playing both progressive and conservative roles. For example, in early twentieth century Argentina, selective judicial decisions effectively expanded labor rights prior to the passing of specific labor legislation, while in Chile the supreme court played a significant role in blocking the project of Unidad Popular during the early 1970s.1


Judicial Review Ford Foundation Lower Court Supreme Court Constitutional Court 
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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© Rachel Sieder, Line Schjolden, and Alan Angell 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rachel Sieder
  • Line Schjolden
  • Alan Angell

There are no affiliations available

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