The Southwestern Journal of Law and Trade
in the Americas presents
Abandoning the Inquisitor:
Latin America's Criminal Procedure Revolution
Friday, January 25, 2008
Speakers will include:
- Ambassador Rubén Beltrán
Consul General of Mexico in Los Angeles
- Hon. José Ramón Cossío Díaz
Justice, Mexican Supreme Court
- Rodger Garner, Mission Director, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Mexico
- Hon. Carlos Moreno
Justice, California Supreme Court
- Laurence M. Rose
President, National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA)
José Mariano Castillo
Consulate General of Mexico in Los Angeles
Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey
National Institute for Trial Advocacy
United States Agency for International Development
American Bar Association Section of International Law
California State Bar International Law Section
Consulate General and Promotion Center of the Argentine Republic in Los Angeles
Los Angeles County Bar Association International Law Section
Mexican American Bar Association
UCLA Latin American Institute
Starting with reforms in Argentina in 1991, Latin America has seen a revolution to establish adversarial, oral proceedings and options for abbreviated trial processes. From independence until 1991, almost every country of Latin America used an inquisitorial system based on an initially secret investigation by a judge, in which witnesses offered testimony before court officials who summarized their testimony in a dossier. In many countries, the same judge who supervised the investigation would determine guilt, and often the judge would not even hear the witnesses but merely read another court official's summary of testimony. Proceedings lacked firm deadlines, and in many jurisdictions over 90% of the prison population was awaiting judgment. Procedural codes barred most pre-trial release, and critical early portions of the proceedings were held in secret. Lawyers could not confront opposing witnesses but merely suggest questions for court officials to ask.
Since 1991, fourteen Latin American countries have broken with the past. Reforms typically include a continuous, oral trial proceeding before a judge who has not participated in the investigation process, increased roles for both prosecutors and defense attorneys, and alternatives such as agreed probation and diversion. But the movement has not touched every country. While Chile and Colombia have engaged in some of the most extensive reforms, much of Mexico remains unchanged.
his one-day symposium will bring together leading legal figures to analyze the reforms achieved in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Venezuela, the ongoing reforms and debates in Mexico, the role of international organizations in the reform process, and recent developments to follow European moves toward jury trials.
Southwestern's Symposium, Abandoning the Inquisitor: Latin America's Criminal Procedure Revolution, takes place under the auspices of a United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and Higher Education for Development (HED) funded partnership between Southwestern Law School and the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, in collaboration with the ABA Section of International Law, the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA) and Texas Tech University School of Law. This Partnership for Advocacy Training is designed to support Mexican criminal procedure reform efforts through advocacy training in the United States and Mexico, as well as scholarships for seven Mexican law graduates to obtain LL.M. degrees at Southwestern with a focus on advocacy.
View a printable brochure, with complete agenda and registration information (PDF)
$75 - Non-Southwestern Alumni seeking 7.5 hours of CLE credit
$50 - Southwestern Alumni seeking 7.5 hours of CLE credit
$40 - Those not seeking CLE credit
Complimentary - Southwestern students, faculty and staff (RSVP required)
RSVP by January 18 to the Student Affairs Office.
This Symposium offers 7.5 hours of CLE credit. Southwestern is a State Bar of California approved MCLE provider.
For a map and directions to Southwestern, click here. Parking is available on campus for $6.