Leaders, Lecturers & Tour Managers

Dr Raul Sanchez-Urribarri

Lecturer, Crime, Justice & Legal Studies
Department of Social Enquiry
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
La Trobe University
SS (Social Sciences) 416, Melbourne (Bundoora)

T: +61 3 9479 6695
E: [email protected]
W: www.urribarri.wordpress.com


Law (UCAB, Venezuela), LLM (Cambridge), PhD (South Carolina)

Brief Profile

My work focuses on law and politics in comparative perspective, with an emphasis on Latin America. My research interests include judicial politics, law and development and judicial reform, using qualitative and quantitative methods.

My main goal is to contribute to the recent wave of analyses that assess the conditions that explain judicial empowerment, the politicisation of courts and sound judicial reform practices across different political contexts. This is directly linked to a broad range of topics in comparative politics and legal studies.

Staff Profile La Trobe University


American Political Science Association, Law and Society Association, Latin American Studies Association.


Recent publications


  • “Empirical Analysis of the Politicization of the Venezuelan Judiciary 1989-2009.”  Annual Meeting of the Australian Political Studies Association, Perth, WA, Australia, October 2013 (Refereed Paper, Published Proceedings)
  •  “Courts between Democracy and Hybrid Authoritarianism:  Evidence from the Venezuelan Supreme Court.”   2011.  Law & Social Inquiry 36 (4, November):  854-84
  •  “Explaining Changes to Rights Litigation:  Testing a Multivariate Model in a Comparative Framework.”  2011.  With Susanne Schorpp, Kirk A. Randazzo and Donald R. Songer.  The Journal of Politics 73 (April): 391-405
  •  “The Support Structure and Sustained Attention to Rights: A Rejoinder.” With Susanne Schorpp, Kirk A. Randazzo and Donald R. Songer.  2011.  The Journal of Politics 73 (April): 410-411
  •  “Characteristics of the Judiciary v. Corruption Perception.” 2008.  Sistemas Judiciales, a Journal of the Judicial Studies Center of the Americas 13:  88-99
  •  “La Sala Constitucional del Tribunal Supremo de Justicia de Venezuela.”  2002.  Memoria Política, Centro de Estudios Políticos y Administrativos, Universidad de Carabobo, Facultad de Derecho, No. 7, Valencia, Venezuela:  115-142


  •  “A Tale of Two Waves:  Latin American Migration to Australia.”  2016.  With Vicente Perez de Leon, Mara Favoretto, Elizabeth Kath, John Sinclair and Annie Fergusson.  In Australian-Latin American Relations: New Links in A Changing Global Landscape (Edited by Elizabeth Kath).  Forthcoming.
  •  “Politicization of the Latin American judiciary via Informal Connections.” 2012. In David K. Linnan (Ed.). Legitimacy, Legal Development & Change. Surrey, UK:  Ashgate, 307-22
  • “Venezuela – the Left Turning Further Left?”  2008.  Leftovers:  Tales of the Two Latin American Lefts.  Jorge Castañeda and Marco Antonio Morales-Barba (Eds.). London:  Routledge, 174-192.  Version in Spanish published in 2010 in Lo que Queda de la Izquierda.  Jorge Castañeda and Marco Antonio Morales-Barba (Eds.) Mexico: Taurus


  • “Standing Up for Rights:  Assessing Legal Mobilization Cross-Nationally.”  2013.  Mobilizing Ideas.  Online publication edited by the Center for the Study of Social Movements at the University of Notre Dame, February 2013.
  • “Governing Europe from the Bench? Assessing the German Constitutional Court’s ESMT Ruling.” With Nicole Scicluna. 2013. Newsletter of the Law & Courts Section of the American Political Science Association. Spring: 33-36.
  • “Judicial Research in Risky Political Environments.” 2011.  Newsletter of the Law & Courts Section of the American Political Science Association. Winter:  11-13
  • “News from the Comparative Realm.” 2007.  Newsletter of the Law & Courts Section of the American Political Science Association.  Spring:  11-13


  •  “Politicized Justice in Emerging Democracies:  A Study of Courts in Russia and Ukraine.” By Maria Popova. 2014.  International Journal of Constitutional Law 12(4):  1080-83
  • “High Courts and Economic Governance in Argentina and Brazil” by Diana Kapiszewski.  2013.  Latin American Politics & Society 56(1): 180-82
  • “Dilemmas of Modernity:  Bolivian Encounters with Law and Liberalism, by Mark Goodale.” 2010.  Law and Politics Book Review – Law and Courts Section of the American Political Science Association 20(3): 100-102
  • “Judges beyond Politics in Democracy and Dictatorship:  Lessons from Chile, by Lisa Hilbink.” 2009.  Latin American Politics & Society 51(4): 186-89
  • “The Struggle for Constitutional Power:  Law, Politics and Economic Development in Egypt, by Tamir Moustafa.”  2008.  The Journal of Politics 70: 897-98
Past Tours

Raul first joined ASA in 2016 as lecturer for La Trobe University’s credit course, ‘When the Levee Breaks: New Orleans and the Mississippi’.
He lectured for this course in 2016 and 2018, and returns as course lecturer in 2020.