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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It should be emphasized, however, that the reformers' vision did not derive from weighty theoretical arguments about the judiciary's place, but rather from concrete complaints about court performance and their own observations as to ...
... Training programs, • Introduction of monitoring, evaluation systems, • Judicial disciplinary systems, • Judicial ethics codes and citizen complaint services, • Strengthening of auxiliary institutions (police, prosecution, ...
Over time, public opinion polls show no great improvement in citizen appreciations of the quantity or quality of services or of the organizations' dedication to achieving them.12 now Moreover, the changes have brought new complaints.
Moreover, the changes have brought new complaints. More-independent supreme and constitutional courts routinely engage in conflicts with other branches of government, declaring the illegality of high-priority programs or insisting on ...
Filings were also encouraged by the development of new mechanisms for making complaints, the creation of specialized bodies (human rights ombudsmen, or, as in Brazil, special prosecutors52) that could represent citizen claims, ...
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Envisioning Reform: Improving Judicial Performance in Latin America
Limited preview - 2010