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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There are also frequent errors in describing national practices or the contents of reforms. An additional problem for anyone writing about the region is the rapid pace at which legally mandated procedures and organizational structures ...
Changes in internal structures and practices are not reflected in changes in outputs, or at least not sufficiently to meet increased and more discriminating demands. Over time, public opinion polls show no great improvement in citizen ...
... lower rating than one whose local panel figured that a certain measure of corruption and exclusionary practices was inevitable.40 Because international experts often tended to be businessmen, theirs was a one-sided view and measure.
... entered at about the same time, although advances in this area have been minimal.49 Several Latin American constitutions now incorporate such practices as an alternative source of law but leave numerous unresolved questions as to ...
A final question is thus how the various reform participants can overcome less helpful past practices and the incentive systems underlying them and so adopt a more collaborative approach to identifying what they collectively know and ...
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Envisioning Reform: Improving Judicial Performance in Latin America
Limited preview - 2010