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Ideational Origins of Progressive Judicial Activism: The Colombian Constitutional Court and the Right to Health

  • Rodrigo M. Nunes

Abstract

Why do some constitutional transitions trigger the emergence of progressive judicial activism? This article addresses this question through an analysis of the creation of the Colombian Constitutional Court and its subsequent activism toward rights in general and the right to health in particular. This research suggests that ideational variables are crucial to explain this outcome. On the one hand, the Constitutional Court's behavior reflects the dominance of the institutional conception that it is the judiciary's role to help fulfill the promises of the constitutional text. On the other, programmatic beliefs about the relationship between the rule of law and market-driven economic growth led powerholders to create the court and appoint judges with this orientation. The emergence of progressive judicial activism in Colombia, this analysis suggests, was the unexpected outcome of purposeful political choices made by proponents of neoliberal economics.

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Ideational Origins of Progressive Judicial Activism: The Colombian Constitutional Court and the Right to Health

  • Rodrigo M. Nunes

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