The purpose of the 2017 Rule of Law Conference is to discuss and analyze the institutional and political determinants of the strength of check and balance institutions in a comparative perspective in Latin America. Special attention will be given to Brazil due to the fact that the New York Times’ exposé on the Brazilian Petrolão scandal has aptly captured the complexity and novelty of contemporary rule of law: while exposing a massive corruption scandal – one of the biggest scandal ever to come to the fore in any country – the case symbolizes “misery with a silver lining”. The scandal triggered a presidential impeachment and the judicial system has sanctioned scores of prominent businessmen, lawmakers, public officials, and politicians. It seems that the new political phenomenon in the country is the unexpected strength of checks and balance institutions. So, why and how did judges, public prosecutors, federal police, and audit courts became so powerful and independent?" The 2017 Tinker Conference on Rule of Law in Latin America is designed to foster the discussion around this topic with the aid of both national and international experts.