Envisioning Reform: Conceptual and Practical Obstacles to Improving Judicial Performance in Latin America
Judicial reform became an important part of the agenda for development in Latin America early in the 1980s, when countries in the region started the process of democratization. Connections began to be made between judicial performance and market-based growth, and development specialists turned their attention to “second generation” institutional reforms. Although considerable progress has been made already in strengthening the judiciary and its supporting infrastructure (police, prosecutors, public defense counsel, the private bar, law schools, and the like), much remains to be done.
Linn Hammergren’s book aims to turn the spotlight on the problems in the movement toward judicial reform in Latin America over the past two decades and to suggest ways to keep the movement on track toward achieving its multiple, though often conflicting, goals. After Part I’s overview of the reform movement’s history since the 1980s, Part II examines five approaches that have been taken to judicial reform, tracing their intellectual origins, historical and strategic development, the roles of local and international participants, and their relative success in producing positive change. Part III builds on this evaluation of the five partial approaches by offering a synthetic critique aimed at showing how to turn approaches into strategies, how to ensure they are based on experiential knowledge, and how to unite separate lines of action.
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Well-functioning judicial systems are supposed to control government abuses and protect basic human and civil rights; create an environment that fosters the development of market-based economies; deter crime and civil violence; ...
A reform intended to increase courts' efficiency in processing cases may introduce elements not completely in line with an access-enhancement strategy or one augmenting the judiciary's ability to check governmental abuses.
In Latin America, the first round of reforms, in the early 1980s, focused largely on criminal justice from the standpoint of containing human rights abuses and ending the impunity of abusers. On the Latin American side, the reforms drew ...
The process lent itself to a series of abuses, many of which were arguably not a necessary consequence of the basic structure.26 Nonetheless, to overcome these problems, the reformers had proposed the transition to an accusatory ...
Instead, the call was for the judiciary to assume its role as a check on the other branches of government, controlling abuses of power, nonrecognition of constitutional guarantees, and other illegal actions.51 Although several courts in ...
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Envisioning Reform: Improving Judicial Performance in Latin America
Limited preview - 2010