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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Nearly twenty years of experience in promoting change in the region's judiciaries seems hardly to have tapped the potential or dampened the enthusiasm for arming new programs. Courts, which once regarded the reforms with utmost ...
There has been a proliferation of books and articles describing reforms in a number of the region's countries, many of them written by observers with substantial experience both with local judiciaries and with the reform programs.2 ...
... Information and communication technology, • Training programs, • Introduction of monitoring, evaluation systems, • Judicial disciplinary systems, • Judicial ethics codes and citizen complaint services, • Strengthening of auxiliary ...
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 ...
More-independent supreme and constitutional courts routinely engage in conflicts with other branches of government, declaring the illegality of high-priority programs or insisting on larger investments in nonpriority areas.
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Envisioning Reform: Improving Judicial Performance in Latin America
Limited preview - 2010