Measuring judicial performance in Latin America

Joseph L. Staats, Shaun Bowler, Jonathan T. Hiskey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

57 Scopus citations


An increasing number of development scholars and policymakers are recognizing the importance of Latin American judicial reforms in shaping the ultimate outcome of the region's "dual transition." We can hardly begin to assess the conditions in which judicial systems are likely to improve, however, unless we have a means to measure judicial performance systematically across countries. This article offers just such a comprehensive cross-national measure of judicial performance for Latin America. Drawing from a survey of Latin American legal scholars and practitioners from 17 countries in the region, it seeks to establish a more valid, and therefore more useful, assessment of the performance of Latin American judiciaries than existing measures, in order to advance efforts to understand the causes and consequences of effective judicial reforms in the region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-106
Number of pages30
JournalLatin American Politics and Society
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2005


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