Judicialization of Politics: The Changing Political Role of the Judiciary in Mexico

  • Pilar Domingo
Part of the Studies of the Americas book series (STAM)


This chapter seeks to explore the impact of judicialization of politics on the prospects of rule of law construction in democratizing societies. Mexico presents an interesting case study as, since the mid-1990s, the judiciary has engaged in unprecedented levels of judicial activism with important political and economic consequences. The chapter aims to shed some light on our understanding of what we mean by the judicialization of politics, and its connection to the prospects of rule of law construction in young democracies. The first section develops a conceptual characterization of the phenomenon of the judicialization of politics. The judicialization of politics is in general terms a feature of the modern democratic state. In systems which have less than adequate rule of law and where the state is weakly embedded in society it is likely to take a different form in contrast to its impact in more established and developed democracies. In this regard, the chapter asks whether the judicialization of politics improves the prospects of rule of law construction, or alternatively whether its emergence in contexts of delegative democracy and weak state-society relations can in fact reenforce illiberal habits of “un-rule of law” The second section reviews the Mexican case, with an emphasis on the politics of the supreme court in recent years.


Political Role Supreme Court Legal Strategy Supreme Court Ruling Latin American Study 


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© Rachel Sieder, Line Schjolden, and Alan Angell 2005

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  • Pilar Domingo

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