Constitutional courts in Latin America have used judicial review to enhance the relevance of international law in recent years. Some scholars even speak of a growing “constitutionalization of international law” in the region. But these domestic courts can also act as gatekeepers that blunt or entirely deflect the domestic impact of international law. This essay explores three recent episodes in which constitutional courts joined or led efforts to escape treaty obligations: the Venezuelan Supreme Court's judgment urging the Chávez Administration to denounce the American Convention of Human Rights on constitutional grounds, which Chavez then did in 2012 (a court-inspired treaty exit); the Colombian executive's 2013 petition to have Colombia's acceptance of the International Court of Justice's (ICJ's) jurisdiction under the Pact of Bogotá declared unconstitutional (a court-legitimated treaty exit); and the Dominican Republic (DR) Constitutional Tribunal's 2014 judgment holding that the DR's acceptance of the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) had been unconstitutional (a court-led treaty exit).
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