Accountability by Courts in Populist Governments

Populism increase in Latin America is characterize by the dismissal of evidence base decision. In Mexico the government has started a campaign to eliminate control by independent technical agencies. Using the Mexican case, we explore the role courts play in preserving checks and balances in populist governments. We suggest that administrative and constitutional courts are powerful tools for accountability, especially when populist temptations tend to overcome governance controls. We show how in the Mexican legal system, nullity trials, state liability trails and Amparo not only protect the rule of law, but also serve as tools for bringing the authorities to account, hence achieving to restraint to a certain point, populist measures. We approach the challenges the courts still encounter to fully work as accountability mechanisms and suggest ways to overcome them.