Description
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Presentation

The Training Area of the Justice Studies Center of the Americas is the instrument through which the Center translates its general objectives and the projects that it develops into teaching programs.

This area’s activity is framed by the judicial reform processes that are being implemented in the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean. Its work involves the design and implementation of various modes of intervention based on the specificities of each local reality. A common denominator in these processes is training. Despite the importance of the reform initiatives, there is a certain feeling of frustration with the results obtained. We believe that this is due to flawed expectations and a failure to adjust the methodologies to the current challenges.

We believe that one cannot expect training alone to alter the structure and functioning of the judicial system. It can, however, provide support for reform processes, preparing officials to work with new institutions, procedures or systems. In this way, training is an instrument that serves judicial reforms under a broader, comprehensive strategy for change that requires a complete redesign that moves away from the traditional paradigms of legal education.

JSCA’s training proposal does not follow the abstract tradition that characterizes the training of justice operators. It seeks to address specific problems and needs in the justice system based on empirical information and instruments that have been proved to be efficient when it comes time to provide solutions.

Objetives

The area’s general objective is to generate pedagogical tools for the innovative development of training programs that impact judicial reform processes in the region.
Its specific objectives are:

  • To design programs that meet the concrete needs of justice systems;
  • To provide knowledge based on empirical evidence and current materials;
  • To develop skills so that operators can work effectively in reformed systems;
  • To establish a set of objective criteria that allow for the area’s institutional performance to be evaluated.

 

Topics

JSCA Training Programs address topics related to judicial system reform in the Americas in the criminal and civil justice areas. These include:

  • Implementation of judicial reforms;
  • Institutional management of Judicial Branches;
  • The role of various operators in reformed systems;
  • Litigation in pretrial hearings, at trial and through appeals;
  • Hearing management techniques;
  • Due process;
  • The use of oral procedures;
  • Evidence and its assessment;
  • Presenting arguments at sentencing and judicial rulings;
  • Justice innovation;
  • Training trainers for judicial reform;
  • Gender;
  • Pretrial detention and other protective measures;
  • Pretrial services;
  • Managing Public Prosecutor’s Offices and Public Defense Services;
  • Trial by jury;
  • ternatives to judicial proceedings; and
  • Mediation and conciliation techniques.

 

Modes of Teaching

The JSCA Training Area develops its programs through traditional and distance learning courses (the latter using e-learning) and mixed courses, which combine both modes.

Traditional programs generally focus on practical activities so that participants can learn about the specific needs and tasks associated with their roles as stakeholders in judicial systems. The courses include lectures, workshops and a wide range of practical exercises that seek to increase theoretical foundations and the development of specific skills and abilities.

E-learning courses are offered through the virtual platform CEJACAMPUS, a learning management system built using a free virtual learning software called Dokeos. The platform houses JSCA virtual courses, each of which has various milestones and learning goals. These include interactive presentations, infographs, mandatory and elective readings, videos, assessments and virtual fora as well as material unique to the respective virtual course. The courses generally seek to optimize the use of tools and methods of e-learning rather than focusing on a selection of readings.

The mixed programs seek to maximize the benefits of traditional and e-learning approaches. They generally focus on a single topic and combine practical courses focused on the development of techniques or skills with distance learning exercises designed to complement that learning with theoretical or conceptual knowledge.

All of the courses can be offered through JSCA or another institution that is interested in the material.

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International Networks

JSCA is a member of and participates in the following international training networks:

•    Red Iberoamericana de Escuelas de Capacitación
The Ibero-American Network of Judicial Academies (RIAEJ) was created in the context of the II Ibero-American Meeting of Judiciary Councils and was approved during the VI Ibero-American Summit of Superior and Supreme Court Chief Justices, which was held in Spain in May 2001. It is a community for cooperation, coordination and reciprocal support among judicial academies and judicial training centers in Ibero-American nations that contributes to the exchange of information on programs, methodologies and judicial training systems. The network also facilitates the coordination of activities among members and plans joint training events.

•    International Organization for Judicial Training
The OIJT was created in 2002 to promote the rule of law by supporting the work of judicial education institutions around the world. Its mission is carried out through international and regional conferences and other exchanges that offer opportunities for judges and judicial educators to discuss strategies for creating and developing training centers, the design of effective plans of study, the development of the faculty’s capacity to train and the improvement of teaching methodology.

 

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