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Greasing the Squeaky Wheel of Justice: Networks of Venezuelan Lawyers from the Pacted Democracy to The Bolivarian Revolution

Title

Greasing the Squeaky Wheel of Justice: Networks of Venezuelan Lawyers from the Pacted Democracy to The Bolivarian Revolution

Files

Excerpt

Latin American lawyers have been commonly portrayed as members of a privileged social group with important influence in many areas. Lawyers have been seen as power brokers, social entrepreneurs, and nation builders. Over time, they have been able to form a permanent and steady elite, which has shaped the ways in which the public and private sectors operate. As described in previous work (Gomez 2003, 2008), Venezuelan lawyers are not the exception. The social and political conditions under which the country developed allowed networks of lawyers to attain significant power, thus enabling them to manipulate the ways in which different parts of the political system functioned, including the courts. This chapter describes how the operation of the Venezuelan judiciary has been traditionally controlled by networks of lawyers, judges and other political actors who have attained significant power and influence, and how members of the business sector have greatly benefited from this. It also explains how social and political changes occurred in that country during the late 1990s which modified the power balance, thus shifting the position of its different actors, but enabling the same social network structures to remain in place.

ISBN

9780415581172

Publication Date

2011

Publisher

Routledge

City

Abingdon, Oxon ; New York

Keywords

Globalization and law, Lawyers, judicial system, Rule of law, Venezuela

Disciplines

Comparative and Foreign Law | Criminal Law | International Law | Law