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This article, written by Teresa M. Miguel-Stearns, explores the vast differences in judicial authority not only between the common law and civil law traditions, but also among various countries steeped in the civil law tradition in Latin America. Judicial review, certiorari, precedent, and other functions and characteristics of the judiciaries of five distinctly different countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, and Mexico) are compared and contrasted with each other and with the common law tradition. This evaluation demonstrates that despite their, arguably, similar distant histories and legal foundations, each country has evolved into a unique legal system with significant differences in the treatment of the judiciary and its jurisprudence.

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