A Means to an End: Judicial Independence, Corruption and the Rule of Law in Latin America
Donoso, Juan Carlos
This project seeks to understand the meaning and importance of judicial independence. The capacity of a judicial system to administrate justice without outside influences is a necessary requisite for the consolidation of a liberal democracy. In this dissertation I explore the various ways in which judicial independence has been measured in Latin America. Using survey data gathered in 19 countries of the Americas in 2006, I assess the effect that country level judicial independence has on the experiences of individual citizens with corruption in the public and private sphere, as well as their personal attitudes towards government institutions that represent the rule of law in their countries. In the end, I find that when independence is measured as an outcome and not as the set of constitutional provisions intended to guarantee it, it has a direct effect on the personal experiences and attitudes of citizens in Latin America.