Democratization and the Judiciary: The Accountability by Siri Gloppen, Roberto Gargarella, Elin Skaar

By Siri Gloppen, Roberto Gargarella, Elin Skaar

This identify examines the political function of courts in new democracies in Latin the United States and Africa, concentrating on their skill to carry political power-holders responsible after they act outdoor their constitutionally outlined powers. The publication additionally matters a caution: there are difficulties inherent within the present worldwide flow in the direction of robust constitutional executive, the place more and more powerful powers are put within the arms of judges who themselves are usually not made liable.

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Many of the people who became leaders of the reform movement were from well-to-do families, had steady incomes from representing railroads, or were beneficiaries of economic expansion. With financial comfort came more leisure for civic pursuits. Even if the supply of potential leaders was constant throughout the nineteenth century, the capacity to act was not. • Participation in professional associations and scientific organizations was more acceptable than it had been earlier. Just after the Revolution, egalitarian sentiment militated against the creation of bar associations or movements that might reproduce privilege.

Nonetheless, reformers everywhere face the same basic challenges: leaders must appear, they must have a way to support themselves and their ambitions through the reform process, and opportunity must arise. It is worth reflecting on four issues with particular relevance for court-watchers in developing countries today. Where are the Leaders? What Helps a Would-be Reform Leader Assume Responsibility? Latent leadership may exist in developing countries, as it did in the United States. Many lawyers around the world have stuck their necks out to secure change.

A snapshot review of some of the limitations of fundamental rights upheld by the Supreme Court shows the leniency of judicial control during this period. For instance, Decree 2686 of 1966 established police surveillance on those suspect of subversive activities, authorized censorship on writings that were considered an apology for crime, and imposed a five-year prison term on those who supported subversive activities. Decree 1129 of 1970 banned any meeting of more than three persons. Decree 70 of 1978 authorized, according to its critics, some kind of a secret death penalty because it excluded from criminal investigation any crime committed by the police or the army in operations developed against kidnapping, extortion or drug trafficking.

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