Institutional design and Constitutional Courts: A study in eighteen countries in Latin America

This research work proposes to give an account of the types of Constitutional Courts that exist in Latin America. To do this, I build a typology of these cuts in which two institutional variables interact. On the one hand, judicial independence measured through the mechanisms of selection and sanction/removal of judges, which allows observing the so-called legitimacy of origin. On the other hand, the powers or formal competences given to these courts are summarized in two groups: the possible performance as referees of the policy or veto players, and the protection of citizen rights. Taking as empirical reference eighteen countries of Latin America, I build four ideal types of courts: provincial, citizen, vigilant and imperial. Guatemala appears as a reference case of a provincial court, while Costa Rica and Colombia are framed within the imperial courts.