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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Its practitioners generally prefer axiomatic principles to testable hypotheses and action to contemplative evaluation. Their external critics are no less susceptible to these leanings. Ideology and subjective preferences continue to ...
... Training programs, • Introduction of monitoring, evaluation systems, • Judicial disciplinary systems, • Judicial ethics codes and citizen complaint services, • Strengthening of auxiliary institutions (police, prosecution, ...
At the same time, however, it has also discouraged and complicated the evaluation of their underlying premises and eventual achievements. In Latin America, the first round of reforms, in the early 1980s, focused largely on criminal ...
... judiciary as an independent political institution Merit appointments, new forms of judicial governance, budgetary autonomy and higher budgets, professionalization of staff, training, monitoring, and evaluation Better public image.
They frequently do a poor job of collecting and disseminating the information they produce, even among their own employees, sponsor research that is not incorporated in their projects, and have tended to do few evaluations of their 22 ...
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Envisioning Reform: Improving Judicial Performance in Latin America
Limited preview - 2010