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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... less noticed development has aggravated the traditional gap between those who act and those who critique—the fact that between and within each group the definitions of reform and of the objectives it pursues have also diverged.
See Alvarez (1992) for a good statement of early usaid objectives. See Blair and Hansen (1994) for an official agency statement, heralding the shift to access goals and a downgrading of institutional strengthening (called “capacity ...
Although individual reforms often mix and match several objectives and activities, and a few appear in virtually every large program, a case can be made for the gradual emergence of a series of reforms or reform strategies.8 Each of ...
For many reformers, they do not exist, at least not in terms of the objectives they are promoting. For virtually every development occasioning alarm on the part of some observers, there are backers arguing that it has not gone far ...
... to resolve political conflicts, once handled by fiat or simply nonexistent under prior regimes) have generated considerable confusion concerning the ultimate objectives of the reform movement both in Latin America and elsewhere.
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Envisioning Reform: Improving Judicial Performance in Latin America
Limited preview - 2010