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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... meant increasing judicial independence, updating laws and internal processes, professionalizing judges and other judicial employees, adding modern technology, improving administrative systems, and educating the private bar and the ...
A reform intended to increase courts' efficiency in processing cases may introduce elements not completely in line with an access-enhancement strategy or one augmenting the judiciary's ability to check governmental abuses.
... or at least not sufficiently to meet increased and more discriminating demands. Over time, public opinion polls show no great improvement in citizen appreciations of the quantity or quality of services or of the organizations' ...
Access-enhancement programs have increased budgetary outlays without necessarily improving service delivery to target groups; moreover, there are indications of a negative impact on juridical security. With more cases and more diverse ...
On the other, judicial councils should have more control over appointments and promotions, discipline and accountability should be increased, dispositions expedited, conflicts dejudicialized, and costs cut or passed on to the users.
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Envisioning Reform: Improving Judicial Performance in Latin America
Limited preview - 2010