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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With more cases and more diverse issues being adjudicated, outcomes have become less predictable, both at the trial and appeal levels. Efficiency-enhancement mechanisms have in some cases posed new barriers to poor users, ...
... its presentation to the trial judge (in some cases the same person) in the form of a written dossier (expediente). ... provision of defense counsel who would conduct his own investigation, oral trials in which both the prosecution ...
Perhaps it is administrative not commercial law, or appellate not trial courts, that create impediments. Perhaps it is rampant crime and not slow debt collection that most deters investors. These issues will be revisited in subsequent ...
In addition, some measures to improve criminal justice procedures (the use of abbreviated trials or plea bargaining) or enhance access (via alternative mechanisms) would face their own constitutional challenges.
Although the trial judge or judges have access to the dossier once it is completed, the instructional judge has no further participation in their deliberations. As a rule, European trial judges take a much more active part in the ...
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Envisioning Reform: Improving Judicial Performance in Latin America
Limited preview - 2010