Panama City, November 14, 2018


The Judicial Branch of Panama, the Rule of Law for Latin America Program at Fundación Konrad Adenauer and the Justice Studies Center of the Americas (JSCA) organized the international seminar “Overview of Judicial Reform in Latin America.” The event, which is to be held November 14-16, 2018 in Panama City, was financed by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and sponsored by the Colombia-Panama Procedure Law Institute (Instituto Colombo Panameño de Derecho Procesal, ICPDP), Panama’s Public Prosecutor’s Office and ISJUP-UNDP.


The inaugural panel was composed of Panama’s Supreme Court Chief Justice, Hernán de León; the Ambassador of Canada to Panama, Lilly Nicholls; the Secretary General of the Attorney General’s Office of Panama, Rolando Rodríguez; the Director of the Rule of Law for Latin America Program at Fundación Konrad Adenauer, Marie-Christine Fuchs; JSCA Board of Directors President Manuel Montecino; and JSCA Executive Director Jaime Arellano.

Each day of the seminar, which will include various panels and roundtable discussions, will focus on one issue. The topic for the first day will be “Civil Justice Reform in Latin America.” The first panel will address new trends in adversarial civil processes and the second will specifically focus on civil justice reform in Quebec, Canada. A roundtable discussion will explore innovative proposals for civil procedure reform, and the final panel for that day will feature presentations on proposals for civil procedure reform in Panama.


Thursday’s discussions will address “The Context and Pending Issues of Adversarial Criminal Process.” The first panel will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will focus on Panama’s criminal procedure reform. It will be followed by a roundtable discussion of criminal process in South America. A second roundtable will be formed to address the situation of criminal process in Central America and Mexico, and the day will end with a panel on the current situation of the region and the work to be done in order to implement adversarial systems.


On Friday, the last day of the seminar, the main topic will be “Evidentiary Activity in Oral Systems.” The panels, which will begin at 8:30 a.m., will focus on evidence and related challenges in civil process and evidence admissibility. The closing address will be offered by JSCA Executive Director Jaime Arellano and will be entitled “JSCA’s Alumni Network and Its Impact on Procedure Reforms in Latin America.”