Judicial activism in Latin America has finally reached urban issues, says Antonio Azuela, a visiting fellow at the Lincoln Institute. In many countries, he says, judges are becoming critical actors in conflicts over land use, environmental concerns, housing rights, and other issues. Azuela continues the fall lecture series tomorrow at noon at Lincoln House with Judicial Activism and Urban Conflict in Latin America.
Azuela says he will show that while in some cases judicial intervention contributes to good urban governance, in many cases it has counterproductive effects. Without putting into question the need of strengthening the rule of law in urban life, he suggests that the role of judges in urban conflicts should be regarded as a serious subject of inquiry from a social science perspective.
Azuela, who holds a law degree from the Universidad Iberoamericana (Mexico), an Ll.M. from Warwick University, and a Ph.D. in sociology from Mexico's National University, has been engaged since the late seventies in research and teaching on urban and environmental law from a socio-legal perspective. His book Visionarios y pragmáticos: Una aproximación sociológica al derecho ambiental (Mexico: Fontamara, 2006) is a sociological reconstruction of his experience as General Attorney for the Environment in the Mexican Federal Government. He is currently editing for the Lincoln Institute a book on experiences on takings in Latin American cities titled Takings for the City: Disputed Public Interest in Five Latin American Metropolis (Expropiar para la Ciudad: La Disputa por el Interés Público en Cinco Metrópolis Latinoamericanas).
The lecture is free and open to the public, but registration is requested.