High Court judges and political loyalties

Date & time

5.30–6.30pm Wednesday 14 March 2018


Phillipa Weeks Staff Library

ANU College of Law, 5 Fellows Road, The Australian National University


Dr Raul Sanchez-Urribarri, Latrobe University


For interstate visitors, we offer suggestions for accommodation near ANU.


Nicole Harman

Presented by Centre for International & Public Law

CIPL Seminar
Raul Sanchez

What are judicial loyalties, and how do they condition the exercise of judicial power? This paper explores the informal dimension of judicial politics and its implications for our understanding of judicial power in weakly institutionalized democracies.

It explores how loyalty commitments influence judicial behavior, particularly in cases of political importance, and reflects on the complex relationship between the presence and pervasiveness of informal connections between judges and politicians and the rise of judicial power, especially in Latin America.

The paper also discusses the research strategy employed to investigate these issues in Venezuela, across different types of regime, with special attention to the Supreme Court during the late democratic period (1989-1998), and after the onset of Chavismo (post-1999). Finally, the paper ponders the challenges associated with exploring informal judicial dynamics in comparative perspective.โ€ƒ


  • Dr Raul Sanchez-Urribarri »

    Raul Sanchez Urribarri (PhD, LLM) is a Lecturer in Legal Studies at the Department of Social Inquiry, La Trobe University (Melbourne). His research focuses on democracy, rule of law and comparative judicial studies, with an emphasis on Latin America and Venezuela in particular. Dr Sanchez Urribarri is currently completing a book manuscript about the informal dimension of judicial politics in Venezuela (Judges and their Loyalties). His work has been published in academic journals โ€“ such as The Journal of Politics, Law and Social Inquiry and the Annual Review of Law and Social Sciences โ€“ edited volumes and other outlets.


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