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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Sector is itself a vague term, but it is usually taken to encompass those institutions most closely related to the courts—police, prosecution, public defense, and the private bar. How reformers define improvement, what means they use to ...
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 ...
Furthermore, whereas in Latin America, a usually abysmal public image has not affected an escalating demand for court services, in the former Soviet region the problem has more often been convincing people to use the courts, ...
As is often the case with programs serving multiple interests and ends, it is usually easier to leave conventional wisdom unchallenged. The firemen's syndrome (“don't step on the hose”) is the safest course, allowing each faction to ...
Even if those responsible do not seem to know where they are heading, however, they usually benefit from the protection of one of the principal strategic umbrellas. The second section raises issues related to the failure to develop a ...
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Envisioning Reform: Improving Judicial Performance in Latin America
Limited preview - 2010