This scholarly book, written by political science Professor Jodi Finkel, explores judicial reform in three Latin American countries.
During the 1990s, judicial reform swept Latin America. Why do some instances of judicial reform lead to the development of a powerful judiciary while others fail to do so? In her careful analysis, Jodi Finkel shows that while ruling parties can be induced to initiate judicial reforms (constitutional revisions), they often prove unwilling to implement these constitutional changes (by enacting required legislation). However, ruling parties that believe they are unlikely to maintain political power have a strong rationale for implementing meaningful judicial reform as an “insurance policy.” Finkel’s research suggests that as the ruling party’s probability of reelection declines, the likelihood of reforms that result in an empowered judiciary increases.