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What Justice? Whose Justice?Fighting for Fairness in Latin America$
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Susan Eva Eckstein and Timothy Wickham-Crowley

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780520237445

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520237445.001.0001

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An Exception to Chilean Exceptionalism?

An Exception to Chilean Exceptionalism?

The Historical Role of Chile's Judiciary

(p.64) CHAPTER THREE An Exception to Chilean Exceptionalism?
What Justice? Whose Justice?

Susan Eva Eckstein

Timothy P. Wickham-Crowley

University of California Press

The 1960s and 1970s witnessed the Latin American intelligentsia define social justice in contrast to formal justice—while the former was characterized as derivative of radical restructuring of socio-economic relations, the latter was condemned as bourgeois and epiphenomenal. However, in the wake of overwhelming authoritarian excess of the Latin American regimes, the intelligentsia was compelled to embrace the bourgeois concepts of rights and the rule of law for the sake of sustaining democratic institutions. The construction of a system of checks and balances required a pro-active judiciary, concerned in maintaining the sanctity of constitutionalism and the rule of law. This chapter seeks to analyze the historical role of the Chilean judiciary, which is deemed as at an advantage in context of its scope for assimilating the maintenance of both democracy and the rule of law. The Chilean judiciary acts as a strong bulwark against the overpolitcization of public life.

Keywords:   formal justice, rule of law, judiciary, bourgeois, citizenship, constitutionalism

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