Constitutional Backsliding: Colombia

Recent scholarship has highlighted the theoretical possibility and examples of the tools of constitutional change being used “abusively,” in order to erode the democratic order. This chapter will explore the experience of constitutional backsliding in Colombia, and the response to those efforts by the Colombian Constitutional Court and other political actors. The chapter will explain the utility of a well-developed doctrine of unconstitutional constitutional amendment as a response to potentially abusive amendments such as term limit extensions. However, it will also highlight the dependence of such a doctrinal response on particular political conditions that often do not hold throughout Latin America.