Chapter 4: Colombia, 1957-2003
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In 1957, Colombia's ruling Military Junta issued a decree mandating a national referendum concerning a series of changes to the country's Constitution of 1886, including, in line with a cross-party pact, a provision mandating equal division of congressional seats between Liberal and Conservative parties until 1968. This chapter focuses on the Supreme Court of Justice's response to a challenge brought in 1957, arguing the decree was inconsistent with the 1886 Constitution. A majority in the Court determined that it did not possess the jurisdiction to invalidate the Military Junta's decree, as the Constitution's provisions did not grant the Court jurisdiction review the validity of constitutional amendments. The chapter examines the majority and dissenting judgment of the Supreme Court of Justice, situating the decision within its historical context, outlining the Court's role in the creation of a new constitutional regime, and charting its effects on subsequent Colombian case law on the review of constitutional amendments.

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