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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Efficiency-enhancement mechanisms have in some cases posed new barriers to poor users, as demonstrated by a marked reduction in annual filings in several countries.17 The list goes on, but the more general point is that the onceorphan ...
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, ...
Filings by Internet or fax must be followed by the paper copy before they assume legal weight. Use of standardized forms for the entry of information accompanying filings or subsequent motions is resisted; the computers simply speed up ...
At best, they had manual typewriters, and usually not enough for all staff; made copies by hand or with hoarded, ragged carbon paper; entered filings manually in large ledgers; stored documents on a few inadequate shelves or on the ...
It was rare to find a courtroom with any sense of modern filing techniques—such simple measures as storing case files vertically rather than in horizontal piles, or using cards or markers to indicate when a file had been removed from ...
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Envisioning Reform: Improving Judicial Performance in Latin America
Limited preview - 2010