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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Its ambitions are more modest—to highlight the inherent dilemmas, explore the alternatives for resolving them, and so encourage the interested parties' collective reexamination of what they are attempting to create.
... equitable treatment, and effective conflict resolution Political parties, civic groups, external actors More courts and judges, simplified and alternative procedures, rightsoriented training, subsidized legal services, popular legal ...
Parties may not introduce evidence not in the dossier (though, in some cases, the trial judge or judges may request further investigation), but instead focus on its interpretation, the implications as to the legal responsibility of the ...
Although these were written proceedings, most traditional codes made room for hearings where the parties met before the judge. These hearings were frequently ignored, or reduced to depositions conducted by low-level courtroom staff. 13.
It was also evident that the trial was highly politicized both because of the context and the identity of the parties. A foreign prosecutor serving as a consultant in Guatemala suggested that despite the dubious quality of the evidence, ...
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Envisioning Reform: Improving Judicial Performance in Latin America
Limited preview - 2010