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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... and with the reform programs.2 Despite their insider's view, or better-documented outsider's perspective, the authors have been no less harsh in their assessments of the movement's achievements or of its chances of eventual success.
How reformers define improvement, what means they use to achieve it, and how they measure success vary. The first section of this work looks in greater detail at a series of the most common approximations. Whereas some authors attempt ...
A first point then is that all judicial reforms are not the same and that, evaluated in their own terms, they require different criteria for assessing success. A second is that there really is no universal consensus on the aims and ...
Indicators of Success Objectives Common Activities Major Promoters Building a strong, professional judiciary as an independent political institution Merit appointments, new forms of judicial governance, budgetary autonomy and higher ...
Rather than being equated with the production of these downstream impacts, success is often measured by the extent to which new procedures are adopted. Criminal justice is not the only partial reform where such strategic shortcuts have ...
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Envisioning Reform: Improving Judicial Performance in Latin America
Limited preview - 2010