Caroline de Lima e Silva

I am an international lawyer and political scientist specialized in human rights and judicial institutions. I am particularly interested in the relationship between domestic and international courts and how domestic judges have agency while deciding to resist or follow international jurisprudence in human rights matters. By resisting or following international jurisprudence, domestic judges become agents of change of domestic and international politics. My work analyses empirically the behavior of domestic judges towards international jurisprudence and international courts, demonstrating that the domestic and international realms are intertwined.

I am a Dual PhD in Law, from the University of Copenhagen, March 2019, and in Political Science by Northwestern University, August 2019. I defended my dissertation – “The Relationship between domestic high courts in Latin America and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights” – in both institutions during the year of 2019. My dissertation focused on the relationship between the Inter-American Court and Latin American Constitutional Courts. My methodology included both citation and content analysis within the database of the Constitutional Courts and qualitative interviews with the main actors working at these institutions, such as judges and clerks. For the dissertation, my focus was on the Supreme Federal Court of Argentina and the Supreme Federal Tribunal of Brazil.

At Lichtenberg-Kolleg, I will be converting my dissertation into a book project with the provisional title of “The relationship between the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and Domestic High Courts in Latin America”. My theoretical approach is anchored in the fields of international law, international relations, judicial behavior and sociology (elite theory).