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Mendoza, March 23, 2018

JSCA and the province’s Judicial Branch held a seminar on March 22, 2018.

Oral procedures, horizontal judicial organization and strategic planning for the Public Prosecutor’s Office were the topics addressed at the international seminar Strengthening the Adversarial Criminal Justice System held yesterday in Mendoza, Argentina. The event was organized by the Justice Studies Center of the Americas (JSCA) and the province’s Judicial Branch.


The activity was held at the Universidad Nacional de Cuyo Law School and was attended by over 80 people who work on issues related to justice and who are interested in the province’s criminal procedure reform, which began in 1999. The focus on the program was a discussion of the key axes of a third generation adversarial system.


The activity was divided into two modules. The first, “Expanding the Use of Oral Procedures and Horizontal Judicial Organization,” was offered by JSCA Training Director Leonel González and José Valerio, a Mendoza Province Supreme Court justice working in the Criminal Chamber. “The horizontal structure of the Judicial Branch favors the democratization of the institution and allows the workload to be distributed equitably,” González said.

The second module, “Strategic Planning for Criminal Prosecution in the Public Prosecutor’s Office,” was handled by JSCA Research and Projects Director Marco Fandiño and Alejandro Gullé, the Attorney General of the Province of Mendoza. “The success of criminal procedure reform depends to a great extent on the Public Prosecutor’s Office capacity to redesign their work processes,” Fandiño summarized.

Adversarial codes were approved in Córdoba and Tucumán in 1991, followed by Buenos Aires province (1997), Chaco and Mendoza (1999), Catamarca (2003), Chubut and La Pampa (2006), the City of Buenos Aires and Santa Fe (2007), Entre Ríos, Santiago del Estero and Jujuy (2009), Salta and Neuquén (2011) and Río Negro (2014).

Progress was made on shared foundations, but with varying levels of depth. For example, in Chubut, La Pampa, Santiago del Estero and Entre Ríos, the separation of jurisdictional functions and investigative ones included the differentiation of administrative tasks based on the creation of judicial offices. In others, the judiciary was restructured into pools of judges, as was the case in Chubut and Santa Fe. In regard to the new role of public prosecutor’s offices, in some cases new management and case flow organization models were created and new computer systems were introduced, as occurred in Salta, Buenos Aires and Chubut.

 

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