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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There are also frequent errors in describing national practices or the contents of reforms. An additional problem for anyone writing about the region is the rapid pace at which legally mandated procedures and organizational structures ...
Following decades of neglect so pronounced they were commonly termed the “orphan branch of government,” frequent political interference, and consequent internal disorder, the region's judiciaries were widely regarded as incapable of ...
While often supporting changes in other areas (guarantees of rights in criminal justice, enhanced access), judicial activism also introduced its own contradictions with the broader program.53 It frequently had negative impacts on ...
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 ...
These hearings were frequently ignored, or reduced to depositions conducted by low-level courtroom staff. 13. Stepán (1994, 187) reports, however, that depositions taken by 30 five approaches to judicial reform.
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Envisioning Reform: Improving Judicial Performance in Latin America
Limited preview - 2010