07/28/14 (written by dpera) — With less than two years until the New Criminal Justice System (Nuevo Sistema de Justicia Penal, NSJP) is constitutionally required to be operational nationwide, federal and state governments are working towards the deadline. As such, Interior Minister Miguel Ángel Osorio Chong recently announced the beginning of a new oral trials training and continuing education program led by the Ministry of the Interior (Secretaría de Gobernación, SEGOB) and the federal Attorney General’s Office (Procurdaruía General de la República, PGR). The program seeks to ensure that all those involved in the administration and adjudication of oral trials under the NSJP have the appropriate knowledge and capabilities to do so. “Together with civil society and the institutions of higher education,” Osorio Chong explained, “judges, investigators, police, public prosecutors, and attorneys will be up-to-date and able to act at with the highest efficiency.”
Osorio Chong announced the implementation of the new plan when he met with Mexico’s National Association of Universities and Institutes of Higher Education (Asociación Nacional de Universidades e Instituciones de Educación Superior, ANUIES), the National Conference of Governors (Conferencia Nacional de Gobernadores, Conago), and the Secretary of Public Education (Secretaría de Educación Pública, SEP), during which the attendees signed an agreement pledging their commitment to comply with the program, and ensure that their education programs are in line with the NSJP reforms. This agreement comes several months after Osorio Chong signed the National Legislative Coordination Agreement for the Implementation of the Criminal Justice System in February 2014. That reform seeks to harmonize more than 400 local laws with federal law to be compatible with the NSJP, which the Interior Minister admitted is no easy task. He also acknowledged the difficult road ahead for preparing the NSJP for compliance with the 2016 constitutional deadline, specifically pointing to the training, professional development, technological advances, and legal reforms that still need to happen.
Nevertheless, Osorio Chong reiterated the importance of the NSJP, as it will improve human rights, transparency, and efficiency within the judicial process. “With responsibility and compromise we will continue changing the face of justice in Mexico and strengthening the trust of citizens in our institutions,” he said. Along with the federal Attorney General’s Office (PGR), he has thus called on all sectors of society to collaborate in consolidating the reforms. “Justice delayed is justice denied,” Osorio Chong said.