CCCS Seminar: Models of Democracy and Models of Constitutionalism in Latin America

Tuesday, 15 May 2012 - 5:30pm

Models of democracy are hardly separable from models of constitutionalism. The model of democracy that a person embraces determines to a great extent the model of constitutionalism that she will adhere to. In the 1990s, there was widespread consensus throughout Latin America as to the virtues of liberal democracy and the model of constitutionalism prevalent in Western Europe, the United States, and other former British colonies. In recent years, however, some Latin American countries have diverged from that consensus and embraced different models of democracy, which have led them to adopt different models of constitutionalism. For example, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua have adopted radical forms of democratic rule—multiethnic democracy in Bolivia and Ecuador, and the so-called ‘Bolivarian democracy’ in Venezuela and Nicaragua— which may be incompatible with some core elements of the liberal democratic model of constitutionalism, such as judicial independence and full freedom of expression. The seminar will address these developments.

Javier Couso is Professor of Law and Director of the Constitutional Law Program at Universidad Diego Portales (Chile). He is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Association of Constitutional Law (IACL). He has been a Visiting Professor of Law at Bocconi University, Italy (2012); the University of Bologna, Italy (2011); the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM), 2011; and the University of Wisconsin at Madison (2006-2007). Professor Couso specialises in Comparative Public Law. Recent publications include, The Constitutional Law of Chile, Javier Couso et al. (Kluwer Law International, 2011); “Models of Democracy and Models of Constitutionalism: The Case of Chile‘s Constitutional Court: 1970- 2010,” Texas Law Review (2011); and Cultures of Legality: Judicialization and Political Activism in Latin America. (Cambridge University Press, 2010), Javier Couso, et al.

Venue: Room 920, Level 9, Melbourne Law School

Address: 185 Pelham Street Carlton 3053 VIC

 

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