Date of Graduation


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Political Science

Committee Chair

Erik Herron

Committee Co-Chair


Committee Member



ABSTRACT Judicial Independence Focused on High Courts in Latin America Adila Fathallah This report encompasses the meanings of judicial independence, and all the aspects in which define and have been used to measure it historically, focusing on Latin American countries to present a clear image of the difficulties and attempts that go into judicial independence achievement. The rule of law depends on independence for judges and the judiciary, in relation to being able to uphold the law of the land without outside pressures, fear or favour to any other branch of government or other entities, and the general public. Legal safeguards are defined and shown example in Latin American countries over the course of many years, to clarify and illustrate how these safeguards have been enacted, how they have failed, and how they have been altered to better enhance the judicial independence in a country. Tenure and appointment processes, as well as salary and other governmental powers, are focused, as these standards are some of the building blocks of judicial independence, and the corruption in Latin American countries is define to show how these aspects have changed over the course of history to implement decisions or better fit an overtaking regime. It is found that judicial independence cannot be measured nor given numerical assignment, but that it is a spectrum, and without complete buy-in from all weights in the judiciary, true independence cannot be achieved.