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Supreme Courts and civil society in Latin America: comparative studies in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia

Grant number: 10/00264-0
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2010
Effective date (End): June 30, 2012
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Law - Theory of Law
Principal researcher:Jose Eduardo Campos de Oliveira Faria
Grantee:Evorah Lusci Costa Cardoso
Home Institution: Faculdade de Direito (FD). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Associated research grant:08/53030-6 - Morals, politics and law: autonomy and critical theory, AP.TEM

Abstract

The research falls within the general framework of research on the public sphere and democratic rule of law in Latin America, specifically addressing the relationship between civil society and supreme courts. The countries selected for comparative study (Brazil, Argentina and Colombia) suffered recent political and social transformations, which have been translated into legal disputes submitted to their supreme courts. One of the hypotheses of this study is that the supreme courts, despite their different institutional designs (competence, participation mechanisms, culture of respect for judicial precedents, composition etc.) and the different profiles of social actors that access these courts, have played a role as a political forum in Latin America democracies. I am interested in studying particularly social actors (such as NGOs, legal clinics, pro bono lawyers, public defenders, prosecutors, etc..) that practice strategic litigation in order to change public policy, legislation or produce new judicial precedents, thereby exploring the possibilities of the law interpretation and application. What motivated the formation of these actors in different countries of Latin America? How is your engagement with the judiciary? What are the litigation strategies that have developed so far?I understand that the strategic litigation is discourse and practice that has spread in several countries, and that its promotion was valued and funded, especially in countries in democratic transition. This disclosure does not occur uniformly. In some countries of Latin America, the discourse and practice of strategic litigation seems more present than in others. This seems to be the case in Argentina and Colombia, when compared to Brazil. What are the reasons for this apparent difference?

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