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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The initiative is linked to concerns about judicial independence, but, unlike the earlier stage, is no longer limited to curbing external interventions in the resolution of ordinary cases. Instead, the call was for the judiciary to ...
Faith in legally induced change has been called a Latin American vice, but it is hardly limited to that region. Both bilateral and multilateral donors have made and continue to make their own errors in this area.37.
As will be argued, however, this perspective ignores other aspects of change and incorporates a very limited understanding of what judiciaries actually do. It uses a model of the judiciary that equates it with an ordinary provider of ...
Where space and budgets are limited, the judge may work in the same room as his staff. Only in countries using oral trials (Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador) were there separate facilities in which to hold these and other hearings.
Pilot and Demonstration Programs For donors with limited funds, and even for the mdbs, a further problem was the reliance on pilot projects. Some of these projects did demonstrate improvements in disposition rates and backlogs.
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Envisioning Reform: Improving Judicial Performance in Latin America
Limited preview - 2010