The Judiciary As an Object of Political Dispute. Organizational Networks, Judicial Agents, and Policy Coalitions in Recent Judicial Reforms in Argentina

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 08:30
Oral Presentation
Federico LORENC VALCARCE, University of Mar del Plata, Argentina, University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, CONICET, Argentina
The judiciary is an independent power in the Argentine constitutional system. In formal terms, it serves as a counterbalance to the two other branches of government. Implicitly, although we are not always aware, it is a political domain of government of society. In turn, the other powers of the State have interference in its organization and functioning. Laws that are dictated and promulgated, institutions that are created and modified, judges who are selected, evaluated and eventually removed by agents external to the judiciary. In Argentina, the judiciary has recently been placed at the center of the political scene. Many voices raised to point out the inefficiency of the system as slow or soft when dwelling with everyday crime or cases of corruption that sprout from the political arena and echo in the media. In this context, two administrations with opposing political signs have in recent years promoted integral plans of justice reforms, each with their own tools, their own social and political supports, and their own justifications. In this paper, I propose to analyze these two governmental justice reform initiatives, one presented as "democratization" and the other as "modernization", concentrating on the actors that promote or block these reforms, the specific nature of the innovations proposed and the ways in which it was tried to give legitimacy to the changes invoking principles, values and aims related to an idea of common good. To achieve these objectives, I analyze official documents, parliamentary debates, press materials and interviews with key informants involved in these processes