Comparative Constitutional Law in Latin America
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Comparative Constitutional Law in Latin America

Edited by Rosalind Dixon and Tom Ginsburg

This book provides unique insights into the practice of democratic constitutionalism in one of the world’s most legally and politically significant regions. It combines contributions from leading Latin American and global scholars to provide ‘bottom up’ and ‘top down’ insights about the lessons to be drawn from the distinctive constitutional experiences of countries in Latin America. In doing so, it also draws on a rich array of legal and interdisciplinary perspectives. Ultimately, it shows both the promise of democratic constitutions as a vehicle for social, economic and political change, and the variation in the actual constitutional experiences of different countries on the ground – or the limits to constitutions as a locus for broader social change.
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Chapter 13: The institutional limits of Inter-American constitutionalism

Alexandra Huneeus

Abstract

This chapter discusses the emergence of Inter-American constitutionalism by addressing two related questions. First, how has the Inter-American Court, despite its significant institutional constraints, come to be perceived as an entity that is forging a new American constitutional order by reshaping the content and practice of constitutional law in the region? Second, at what point will the Court have gone too far, such that we should worry about its incursion on the turf of domestic institutions, including but not limited to constitutional courts? By addressing these two puzzles – one empirical and one normative – the chapter aspires to put the emerging field of empirical studies of the Inter-American Court in closer dialogue with debates among legal scholars over the proper level of deference the Inter-American Court should exhibit. Keywords: Inter-American Court, Inter-American Constitutionalism, conventionality control, judicial dialogue, structural remedies, constitutional block

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