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Judges beyond Politics in Democracy and Dictatorship: Lessons from Chile - Cambridge Studies in Law and Society (Hardback)
  • Judges beyond Politics in Democracy and Dictatorship: Lessons from Chile - Cambridge Studies in Law and Society (Hardback)

Judges beyond Politics in Democracy and Dictatorship: Lessons from Chile - Cambridge Studies in Law and Society (Hardback)

Hardback 316 Pages / Published: 23/07/2007
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Why did formerly independent Chilean judges, trained under and appointed by democratic governments, facilitate and condone the illiberal, antidemocratic, and anti-legal policies of the Pinochet regime? Challenging the assumption that adjudication in non-democratic settings is fundamentally different and less puzzling than it is in democratic regimes, this book offers a longitudinal analysis of judicial behavior, demonstrating striking continuity in judicial performance across regimes in Chile. The work explores the relevance of judges' personal policy preferences, social class, and legal philosophy, but argues that institutional factors best explain the persistent failure of judges to take stands in defense of rights and rule of law principles. Specifically, the institutional structure and ideology of the Chilean judiciary, grounded in the ideal of judicial apoliticism, furnished judges with professional understandings and incentives that left them unequipped and disinclined to take stands in defense of liberal democratic principles, before, during, and after the authoritarian interlude.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521876643
Number of pages: 316
Weight: 640 g
Dimensions: 233 x 160 x 25 mm

Review of the hardback: '... thoughtful, engaging study ... Judges beyond Politics is a beautifully written, succinct and engaging book that should be read by those interested in Chilean political history as well as students of law and politics, comparative politics, and human rights.' Journal of Latin American Studies
Review of the hardback: '... the best available book on why Chile's judges have hitherto tended to facilitate and condone illiberal, antidemocratic, and anti-legal policies, and why these tendencies persist with respect to civil rights in general, beyond the Pinochet-era human rights cases.' Journal of Law and Society
Review of the hardback: 'Lisa Hilbink's new book, Judges beyond Politics in Democracy and Dictatorship: Lessons from Chile, responds to one of the central questions of ... recent research: when will judges act to bolster democracy and individual rights and when will they act to bolster authoritarianism and impunity? She provides a compelling response to this question based on the Chilean case.' Journal of Politics
"...The book's content nicely reflects the decade of research the author devoted to the project. It provides an historically rich yet accessible account of the Chilean judiciary's role in politics across two centuries, derived from careful archival work and more than one hundred interviews with scholars, justice ministers and judges. JUDGES BEYOND POLITICS can be used effectively in both undergraduate and graduate courses on law and politics, Latin American politics, or political institutions....JUDGES BEYOND POLITICS represents an excellent contribution to the literature on comparative judicial politics. The argument is highly plausible, and Hilbink's efforts to rule out alternative explanations are extremely persuasive. This is clearly a must read for anyone in judicial politics who focuses on Latin America." --Jeffrey K. Staton, Emory University, Law and Politics Book Review
"...Hilbink, a political scientist, enriches the sparse literature in this area of scholarship with her meticulously researched work....Judges sheds light on a variety of critical questions at the intersection of democratic theory, law, and political science;....clarity and comprehensiveness of her research is impressive..." --The yale Journal of International Law
"...this book adds a new element to this frequently studied period of Chilean history. Hilbink makes a convincing case for the need to look at institutional dynamics in understanding judicial behavior and identities. It will be of interest to both political scientists and historians for its contributions to the study of the dynamics between law, high politics, and civil society." --Vanessa Walker, H-Human-Rights, H-Net Reviews; December, 2008

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