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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... accumulated in twenty years, it is hoped that by calling attention to some of them and to the issues they raise, individually and collectively, it can encourage the knowledge managers to take their responsibilities more seriously.
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 ...
Obviously, this worked against a neutral consideration of the evidence in any eventual hearing, which often was not even held.12 Second, Latin American instructional judges have commonly delegated responsibilities for interviewing ...
... shotcuts can attest, most suggestions are stopped short by such arguments as “the law doesn't allow it,” “it is in conflict with some basic right,” or “it is not our responsibility to suggest changes; that is up to the legislature.
This meant specific provisions—included in procedural codes, organic (organizational) laws, and at times the constitutions—defining such details as the number of courtroom staff, their responsibilities, and how paperwork would be ...
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Envisioning Reform: Improving Judicial Performance in Latin America
Limited preview - 2010