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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These include the delegation of judicial functions to untrained courtroom staff, the complete failure of the police to cooperate with the judicial investigation, the investigating judge's dual role as sentencing judge, ...
Throughout the region, countries adopted judicial councils, representative bodies usually located outside the judiciary and intended to manage the selection and promotions of judges and sometimes court staff. The move was usually linked ...
... budgetary autonomy and higher budgets, professionalization of staff, training, monitoring, and evaluation Better public image. Over longer run, fewer complaints; over shorter run, more judges disciplined, dismissed for Judges, ...
... staff. The practice is disappearing, but it has not been eliminated. It is reported that in Peru, following the shift to a more accusatory system, the investigating judges are again having their assistants depose witnesses.
Such counsel either neglect their clients or charge illegal fees. 16. These problems are discussed in detail in Chapter 3. 17. During the early 1990s in El Salvador, donor staff criminal justice reform 31.
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Envisioning Reform: Improving Judicial Performance in Latin America
Limited preview - 2010