Chapter 38: Femicide and Transnational Law

Book Publication


Femicide is a worldwide pandemic that can and must be addressed on a global scale. Thus, transnational law — which regulates events that transcend national frontiers — constitutes a valuable tool in the advancement of case law on femicide. This chapter examines international and domestic courts’ interaction through the interpretation and enforcement of international human rights law, including soft law instruments, in the making of landmark femicide cases in Latin America. National court decisions are a unique source of international law because of their dual functionality as both law enforcement and law creation. When embracing international standards contained in human rights treaties, national courts endow them with a new sense of internal legitimacy and strengthen their binding force for national authorities, as shown in the case of Mariana Lima-Buendía in Mexico. Likewise, the interpretation of parameters established in soft law instruments, and their subsequent incorporation to judicial precedents of femicide in domestic courts, have allowed judges to create law when confronted with a legal gap in domestic legislation, as seen in the case of Ányela in Colombia. National rulings have the potential of shaping transnational law as an interpretative resource for both international courts and foreign judicial peers, as shown in the case of Vicky Hernández. Judges that lack any previous jurisprudence can look for solutions in foreign legal systems and their case law. We hope that this transnational judicial dialogue flourishes on matters of femicide and, thus, enables a faster and stronger recognition and protection of women’s rights throughout the world.

External Authors

Adriana Isabel López Padilla Tostado




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