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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... deter crime and civil violence; reduce levels of societal conflict; support the development of legitimate democratic governance; and reduce social inequities by helping spread the benefits of development to marginalized groups.
... reforming judicial and other institutions quickly became conflated with large loan programs to benefit these same organizations. As long as money was spent on the judiciary, it was advancing institutional reform.
... decade of the reform movement, two other themes joined the institutional strengthening repertoire. The first of these is the issue of access or the provision of judicial services to groups traditionally excluded from their benefits.
Even if those responsible do not seem to know where they are heading, however, they usually benefit from the protection of one of the principal strategic umbrellas. The second section raises issues related to the failure to develop a ...
In light of the underfinancing of all elements prior to the reforms, it seems highly unlikely that however measured (costs per case, overall expenditures, or some more sophisticated form of cost-benefit analysis) the new system will ...
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Envisioning Reform: Improving Judicial Performance in Latin America
Limited preview - 2010