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Judicial Independence in Latin America: A View from Asia

The Oxford Handbook of Constitutional Law in Latin America 2022

This chapter addresses the question of how Asia perceives judicial independence in Latin America. A general definition of judicial independence is that courts can act in ways that are not dictated by the political and administrative organs of the state or by powerful non-governmental actors. Such independence can refer to the institutional autonomy of judges from other individuals and institutions. However, it is not enough for courts to possess structurally (constitutionally) assigned powers such as judicial review, and be insulated in its governance (appointments, promotion, transfers, and budget). Judicial independence also refers to behavioural autonomy of the judges. One has to separate the scope of judicial choices from questions about the direction of such choices.

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