The Judicialization of Chilean Politics: The Rights Revolution That Never Was

  • Javier A. Couso
Part of the Studies of the Americas book series (STAM)


Ever since the arrest of General Augusto Pinochet by British authorities in October 1998—and the trial that followed it over the next two years—the judicialization of Chilean politics has been associated with this landmark case. Indeed, given the spectacular nature of the trial of one of the world’s most notorious dictators in a procedure that seemed to inaugurate the era of universal jurisdiction in cases involving gross human rights violations, it is only natural that journalistic and academic attention has focused on the role of the Chilean courts in this case, as well as in others dealing with human rights violations perpetrated during the 17-year-long regime initiated with the military coup of 1973. As a result of this interest, there has been a considerable amount of research over the past few years that have addressed the origins, trajectory, and potential consequences of the Pinochet and related trials for the future of Chile’s democratic system.1


Judicial Review Democratic Transition Military Regime Universal Jurisdiction Supreme Court 


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© Rachel Sieder, Line Schjolden, and Alan Angell 2005

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  • Javier A. Couso

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