This chapter draws on literature about courts, constitutionalism, and legal mobilisation in and around authoritarian regimes. It adopts both the notion of the continuing importance of the constitutional ‘moment’, and the concept of legal mobilisation as one form of contestation and resistance, to explain and explore some of the particular meanings that law, lawyers, and legal activism acquired before, during and beyond the Chilean transition of 1990. Interpreting legal mobilisation against the backdrop of prevailing legal-cultural traditions, the chapter contends both that the authoritarian regime´s constitution-making moment of 1980 should be viewed as the foundational critical juncture of Chile’s past three decades; and that subsequent ‘rights talk’ in Chile has been hamstrung by its obeisance to conceptions of legality that hark back to this phase of the dictatorship.
|Title of host publication||Comparing Transitions to Democracy|
|Subtitle of host publication||Law and Justice in Brazil, South America, and Europe|
|Editors||Cristiano Paixao, Massimo Meccarelli|
|Number of pages||31|
|Publication status||Accepted/In press - 2019|
- authoritarianism; legal culture; lawyers; judges; post-transition; Chile