The judicialization of politics: lessons from Brazil
Organisers: Peripheries of Law
Presenter: Bruno Sousa Rodrigues
Judicial activism may sound like old news. Legal scholarship has already spent a considerable amount of ink analyzing the politicization of courts and its impacts on the doctrine of separation of power. In this respect, it seems clear to most that adjudication is far from apolitical and that courts would hardly be the bouche de la loi. That is all well and good, but there seems to be a dimension of judicial activism that may still be of interest today. I am referring to the inverse phenomenon, that is, what happens when politics gets “judicialized”? In particular, judicial anti-corruption activism has been of quite some importance, with a number of political leaders being ousted under corruption charges. In this context, the Brazilian crisis seems to offer an extreme and dramatic example of what may happen when courts go to politics.