Justice System Reform

Promoting and evaluating Mexico’s judicial reform efforts is a core area of focus for the Justice in Mexico Project. JMP has conducted research on several issues regarding the judicial reform in Mexico. It also has documented and analysed patterns of human rights violations and formal complaints. Other issued covered by JMP are legal ethics and police reform.


In 2008, the Mexican Congress passed a judicial reform package that included legislative changes and constitutional amendments to transform from its traditional justice system into one that emphasizes the presumption of innocence, an adversarial criminal procedure, and oral advocacy in the courtroom. JMP has presented in many forums and has provided technical assistance to Mexican and U.S. institutions with regards of the reform. Much of this research was included in the monograph “La reforma al sistema de justicia penal en México” published in 2012.


 The Justice Barometer (Justiciabarómetro) series study the main operators in the Mexican justice system in different Mexican states. The study provides unprecedented analysis of the demographic profile, professional background, and personal observations at a critical moment in Mexico’s efforts to promote judicial sector reform, providing insights on the course and overall support for these efforts.


JMP explores Mexico’s public security challenges, particularly its embattled law enforcement agencies, the growing role of the military, the problem of drug violence and corruption, and the possible strategies for moving forward. Recent work includes analysis of Mexico’s public security situation, studies of the institutional problems and practices that undermine effective law enforcement, and identify practical recommendations for addressing these challenges.