Shifting Legal Visions: Judicial Change and Human Rights Trials in Latin America
What explains the success of criminal prosecutions against former Latin American officials accused of human rights violations? Why did some judiciaries evolve from unresponsive bureaucracies into protectors of victim rights? Using a theory of judicial action inspired by sociological institutionalism, this book argues that this was the result of deep transformations in the legal preferences of judges and prosecutors. Judicial actors discarded long-standing positivist legal criteria, historically protective of conservative interests, and embraced doctrines grounded in international human rights law, which made possible innovative readings of constitutions and criminal codes. Litigants were responsible for this shift in legal visions by activating informal mechanisms of ideational change and providing the skills necessary to deal with complex and unusual cases. Through an in-depth exploration of the interactions between judges, prosecutors and human rights lawyers in three countries, the book asks how changing ideas about the law and standards of adjudication condition the exercise of judicial power.
Date: 16 May 2018, 14:00 (Wednesday, 4th week, Trinity 2018)
Venue: Manor Road Building, Manor Road OX1 3UQ
Venue Details: Seminar Room F
Speaker: Dr Ezequiel Gonzalez-Ocantos (University of Oxford)
Organising department: Centre for Socio-Legal Studies
Part of: OxonCourts
Booking required?: Not required
Audience: Members of the University only
Editors: Katie Hayward, Etienne Hanelt