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Santiago, November 7, 2018


Over the past ten years, numerous Latin American countries have undertaken civil justice reforms designed to implement a hearing-based system, among other aspects. One fundamental challenge for the success of these reforms is the modification of the organization of courts, moving away from pyramid court models that date back to Colonial times and towards more horizontal courts in which jurisdictional and administrative functions are separate.


In this context, JSCA presents the publication Judicial Management in New Civil Courts (in Spanish), directed by Research and Projects Director Marco Fandiño and coordinated by JSCA Research Attorney Paula R. Ballesteros. The project was financed by Global Affairs Canada (GAC).


The publication begins with an introduction by JSCA Executive Director Jaime Arellano and a proposal for “Guidelines for Transforming Civil Courts Based on New Procedural Paradigms” by JSCA Research and Projects Director Marco Fandiño.

The publication describes Latin American experiences related to modifying civil court management and organization models that won the competition “Innovative Experiences in Latin American Civil Justice Systems,” including civil justice office reform experiences that were developed in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala and Peru.


The goal of the publication is to present the main experiences in the region related to the adjustment of civil court management and organization models, which includes addressing civil justice reform processes. As the publication’s director, Marco Fandiño, puts it, “Civil court reforms must not only involve introducing measures taken from other reforms, such as dividing jurisdictional and administrative functions. We also must innovate a great deal more with new procedural paradigms. The idea of multi-door justice with judicial and non-judicial mechanisms, the appearance of judicial case management and the regulation of mandatory precedent pose enormous challenges regarding how we design new civil judicial offices in the region.”


JSCA is working with Global Affairs Canada to implement pilot projects designed to modify the management and organization of civil courts in Bolivia, Peru and Uruguay. The three countries reformed their civil justice systems to introduce oral procedures for decision-making, among other measures. However, they maintained the same judicial organization structure, which prevented them from obtaining better results from the oral procedures.

[Click here to download in pdf] Document in spanish

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