Domestic Lawfare in South America

  • Petruska Ferenc
doi: 10.32565/aarms.2024.1.2


Domestic lawfare, using legal measures or their potential utilisation as strategic tools in political or ideological disputes within a nation, is a prevalent phenomenon in South America. Such measures may include lawsuits, investigations, and other legal mechanisms aimed at eradicating, intimidating, penalising, or undermining rivals to achieve specific political or policy objectives. This practice can be identified as domestic lawfare by prioritising legal technicalities over substantive matters. Its impact is of particular concern, as it is employed to suppress dissenting voices and curtail essential liberties, such as freedom of speech. This article sheds light on the significant challenge that constitutional democracies in South America currently face due to the rise of lawfare. This does not mean that it is an exclusively South American phenomenon. Influential individuals or entities around the world equipped with ample resources, financial means, influence, or political clout could deploy these assets to target individuals or organisations they perceive as threats to their interests. By examining the potential legal ramifications that may arise from rigid adherence to legal requirements, this study aims to underscore the crucial importance of legal protection as a topic requiring meticulous deliberation. Lawfare presents formidable challenges in theory and practice, making it essential to comprehend its implications fully. Understanding and addressing this issue can safeguard democratic values and protect fundamental rights.


lawfare democracy lawsuits threat risk

How to Cite

Petruska, F. (2024) “Domestic Lawfare in South America”, AARMS – Academic and Applied Research in Military and Public Management Science. Budapest, 23(1), pp. 19–34. doi: 10.32565/aarms.2024.1.2.


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