Document Type



Presented at the 4th Inter-University Graduate Student Conference at Cornell Law School, March 2008.


In “The Tropicalization of Proportionality Balancing: the Colombian and Mexican Examples” the author analyzes how the German based proportionality balancing test was exported to Latin America, by studying the Colombian Constitutional Court and the Mexican Supreme Court. This work is guided by the following questions: what is proportionality balancing? How has it been used by the Colombian and Mexican jurisprudences and what are its influences? Do the Courts cite other jurisdictions when using the test? Have they imported a traditional European test? Or, have they “tropicalized” it?

The study of the Latin American examples leads to the conclusion that the Courts have “tropicalized” proportionality balancing. In this context, the term “tropicalization” is used to describe the fact that the Courts have made the test their own, adjusting it to their particular jurisprudence by combining elements from the original German test, the American based differentiated levels of scrutiny, and elements from their own constitutional standards.

Date of Authorship for this Version

April 2008


Proportionality balancing, Colombia, Mexico