Alternatives to Judicial Proceedings
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Description

Despite the progress that justice reform processes have made in Latin America, several groups still seem to be limited by various obstacles. These include the high cost of judicial process to the parties, the lengthiness of the processes, the perception of corruption and in some cases the location of courts, which are usually found in central areas that are not convenient to some groups. As a result, a set of unsatisfied legal needs is generated in response to which traditional justice seems distant. In order to satisfy citizen justice needs, a series of mechanisms and initiatives have emerged so that the population can meet them in a simpler, faster and less costly manner. These issues of access are aggravated when citizens are at risk due to their age, sexual orientation, gender, ethnicity, disability or social class.

Based on these challenges, the countries in the region have followed a range of strategies in order to expand access to justice at the level of administration of traditional justice and informal or alternative mechanisms. These include special procedures for small claims cases and neighborhood justice, new sentence execution and debt recovery procedures, alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, recognition of indigenous justice, the increasing use of new technologies to provide online judicial services, among others. These strategies should be explored as measures for facing barriers of access to justice and to contribute to a more efficient justice system.

We consider it necessary to observe all of these experiences from a broader perspective that goes beyond the classic vision that is exclusively focused on arbitration, mediation and conciliation. We have coined the term Alternative Mechanisms to Judicial Process (AMJP), which comes from the idea of being able to address all of the spaces in the traditional judicial process which are meant to provide more flexible justice that improves citizen access to justice.

In this context, most Latin American countries have developed a variety of innovative experiences that have had positive results but that seem to be limited when implementation problems emerge, which has stopped their consolidation as a focused public policy to provide access to justice for vulnerable groups. As a result, this line of work involves projects, studies and activities that are related to all of these strategies and mechanisms implemented in the region that are designed to expand access to justice.

 

Objetivos

    • To support the implementation of public policies in the area of access to justice in member countries.
  • To gather and organize information and analytically describe the AMJP principles and strategies followed by member countries.
  • To promote and disseminate discussion on AMJP in the region.

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