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The Constitutional Adjudication Mosaic of Latin America
Comparative Political Studies (2005)
  • Julio Antonio Rios-Figueroa
  • Patricio Navia
This article maps current constitutional adjudication systems in 17 Latin American democracies. Using recent theoretical literature, the authors classify systems by type (concrete or abstract), timing (a priori or a posteriori), and jurisdiction (centralized or decentralized). This approach captures the richness and diversity of constitutional adjudication in Latin America, where most countries concurrently have two or more mechanisms. Four models of constitutional adjudication are currently in use. In the past, weak democratic institutions and the prevalence of inter par- tes, as opposed to erga omnes, effects of judicial decisions, prevented the development of constitutional adjudication. Today, democratic consolidation has strengthened the judiciary and fostered constitutional adjudication. After discussing the models, the authors highlight the role of the judiciary in the constitutional adjudication bodies, the broad range of options existing to initiate this adjudication process, and the prevalence of amparo (habeas corpus) provisions.
  • constitutional adjudication,
  • tribunals,
  • Latin America courts,
  • judicial review
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Citation Information
Julio Antonio Rios-Figueroa and Patricio Navia. "The Constitutional Adjudication Mosaic of Latin America" Comparative Political Studies Vol. 38 (2005)
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