The Prince Claus Chair in Development and Equity, in cooperation with the Institutions Research Group on Citizens, Trust and Democracy, and the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM), both Utrecht University, cordially invites you to the workshop, entitled:
Adjudicatory Autonomy in New Democracies: Understanding the Determinants of Independent Institutions of Accountability.
Keynote Speaker: Professor Javier Couso, Director of the Constitutional Law programme, Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago, Chile, and appointee of the Prince Claus Chair in Development and Equity 2014/2016.
After a presentation by Professor Couso, the goal of this workshop is to discuss the role of institutions, especially an independent judiciary, in new democracies. Institutions of accountability, such as courts, play a crucial role in upholding the rule of law and checking the exercise of power of the government between elections, both key factors in the protection of human rights.
To the contrary, a judiciary that is dependent on the executive branch –and is therefore controlled by political authorities— is not able to guarantee the civil and political rights of all citizens. In view of Latin America, we can say that some countries have managed to consolidate independent judiciaries and withstand political backlashes (Chile, Costa Rica and Uruguay) while other justice systems are totally subservient to the government (Bolivia, Ecuador and Venezuela). Drawing from the experience of these cases, we aim at identifying the determinants of judicial autonomy in new democracies.
About the Prince Claus Chair in Development and Equity: the Prince Claus Chair in Development and Equity was established by Utrecht University and the International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam, and is hosted by Professor Javier Couso (Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago, Chile) in 2014/2016. The research focus of the Chair is the relationship between judicial independence and human rights in new democracies, with an emphasis in Latin America. Professor Couso is a specialist in the sociology of law and comparative law, with a particular focus on constitutional issues in Latin American countries. Recently, the Chilean President, Michelle Bachelet, appointed him as a member of the advisory group set up to evaluate Chilean anti-terrorist legislation. For further information, please visit http://princeclauschair.nl/