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Reading: Divergent Experiences with the Rule of Law: A Comparative Analysis of Chile and Argentina

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Divergent Experiences with the Rule of Law: A Comparative Analysis of Chile and Argentina

Author:

Rebecca Bill Chavez

United States Naval Academy
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Abstract

Chile and Argentina are neighbors in the Southern Cone of Latin America, yet their experiences with the rule of law are worlds apart. Although the two nations share the Spanish colonial legacy and the civil law tradition and they both recently underwent transitions from harsh military rule, they have been on opposite ends of the judicial autonomy continuum for most of their histories. Chile has had more success than Argentina in establishing a strong rule of law that includes a judiciary that is independent of the executive branch. In a rule of law system, state agents and private actors that wield significant power are subject to legality. Otherwise, these actors can use their power to violate the formal rules of the game. An autonomous judiciary on its own is not sufficient to ensure the rule of law, but it can aid in the establishment by binding powerful actors. In the context of Latin American ultrapresidentialism, the judiciary must have the capacity to act as a control on the executive branch.
How to Cite: Chavez, R.B., (2007). Divergent Experiences with the Rule of Law: A Comparative Analysis of Chile and Argentina. Middle Atlantic Review of Latin American Studies. 18(1), pp.1–19. DOI: http://doi.org/10.23870/53
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Published on 01 Jan 2007.
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