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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Although the situation has been attributed to their inquisitorial nature, other special circumstances may be more important. Latin America's inquisitorial criminal procedures had been inherited from Spain and Portugal during the ...
An antiquated tradition of weighted evidence (prueba tasada)19 gave most importance to a confession. The police thus used any and all means at hand to extract one. Supervision of the police by investigative judges, or where they existed ...
Since their beginnings, in the early 1980s, the regionwide efforts have managed to make important changes both in how criminal justice is administered and with what results. Still, as the recent evaluations suggest, they are far from.
Of course, as further discussed below, the quality of the new laws is also important, but the central point is that law indicates an intent to produce change. It does not in itself effect it. The Reforms' Excessive Reliance on the ...
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Envisioning Reform: Improving Judicial Performance in Latin America
Limited preview - 2010