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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each other, and thus require fundamental political choices.9 These same and other observers have also begun to question the historical model of the judiciary's role and operations, which suggests that it may itself require ...
Judicial or justice-sector reforms are thus programs that attempt to improve the performance and impact of court or sector operations. Sector is itself a vague term, but it is usually taken to encompass those institutions most closely ...
... they usually did “desk investigations,” relying heavily on the contents of the police charge sheet (expediente policial) to guide them.20 These practices were encouraged by their institutions' modest operating budgets.
Regardless of the code's details, the level of preparation, or the implementation strategy, the process has been difficult. As the most concerted effort to introduce change in judicial operations, ...
... to how counsel wants to develop the theory of the case.44 Although due process guarantees are often set out in considerable detail, the other routine aspects of normal operations are given short shrift or not covered at all.
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Envisioning Reform: Improving Judicial Performance in Latin America
Limited preview - 2010