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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Most public criticism is directed at the aspects of the procedural codes that allow a skillful lawyer to avoid a final verdict for years, possibly until the statute of limitations runs out for his client. 11. In Guatemala, prior to the ...
Such counsel either neglect their clients or charge illegal fees. 16. These problems are discussed in detail in Chapter 3. 17. During the early 1990s in El Salvador, donor staff criminal justice reform 31.
Criticisms tend to be similar throughout the region—an excessive reliance on lectures and memorization of the law, little opportunity for practical clinics, an absence of attention to ethics and client relations, and a proliferation of ...
For juzgados with a light workload and not very demanding clients, it was adequate. As caseloads increased, it posed obvious difficulties. Except for the opportunities for corruption, Latin Americans had paid little attention to the ...
The reaction from judges and clients is mixed, with many complaining of excessive bureaucratization. The Mexican federal courts appear to have followed the first Costa Rican approach. Despite a hefty investment in automation equipment, ...
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Envisioning Reform: Improving Judicial Performance in Latin America
Limited preview - 2010