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Abstract

In this introduction to the issue on New Trends in Latin American Constitutionalism, Santiago Legarre offers his remarks at the opening of the conference on New Trends in Latin American Constitutionalism held at Notre Dame Law School in 2013. After briefly recounting the origins of the conference, Legarre summarizes some of the key modern challenges in Latin America and the role of constitutionalism in addressing these challenges. Legarre pays particular attention to the rapid growth of income inequality in the region. He ultimately concludes that some of the major challenges to the region are rooted in a lack of consensus about the common good as well as a lack of respect for the law. Legarre argues that the solution to these problems lies in fostering conversations about the proper goals of Latin American societies and in the political and judicial leaders of Latin America displaying greater fidelity to the principles underlying their respective constitutions.

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