Justiciabarómetro Featured in Nexos

Image Source: Nexos.

Image Source: Nexos.

10/10/17- (written by Lucy Clement La Rosa) In October of this year, Nexos, a political magazine based in Mexico City, featured an article co-authored by Justice in Mexico Director and Program Coordinator, David Shirk and Octavio Rodríguez, that examines rule of law and judicial reform in Mexico. The article, titled “El Justiciabarómetro Mexicano” (The Mexican Justice Barometer), highlights the Justice in Mexico’s Justiciabarómetro project, a quantitative research initiative to gauge the current levels of comprehensive judicial reform and the professional attitudes of judicial operators throughout the Mexican criminal justice system, including police, public defenders and judges.

The article introduces the background of the Justiciabarómetro project, which began in 2009 and was first published as research study in 2010. The project was initiated at a critical moment in Mexico’s democratic development in order to provide much needed analysis of judicial operators and judicial reform in Mexico. Just one year before, Mexico’s ruling president Enrique Peña Nieto had launched an ambitious judicial reform, aimed at improving the transparency of the criminal justice system. Under the agenda of New Criminal Justice System (Nuevo Sistema de Justicia Penal, NSJP), the reforms targeted various operators across multiple judicial sectors, including police officers, prosecutors, public defenders, the Ministry of the Public, the courts, and the prison system. The reforms introduced new judicial procedures and standards with the intent of promoting greater access to justice (for defendants and victims alike) and improving the efficiency of judicial operators.

The 2008 reforms were implemented following a general outcry over the dysfunctionality of Mexico’s justice system, which was fraught with impunity, corruption, legal misconduct and a general lack of access to justice for defendants and victims. In fact, Mexico’s society was so disenfranchised by the rate of impunity and level of uninvestigated crimes that often crimes went unreported. Moreover, crimes that were reported were often protracted by trial delays, a reliance on eye witness testimony and general negligence.

The first Justiciabarómetro published in 2010 was a survey of judicial operators across nine Mexican states with a response rate of 24%. The survey, composed of over 120 questions, focused on the demographic and professional profiles of judicial operators as well as their personal perspectives on various topics; including: the effectiveness of the judicial sector, the implementation of the new judicial sector and the attitude towards persistent problems of corruption, organized crime and violence.  The study generated useful indicators as the early development of Mexico’s judicial reform, useful not only for academic purposes, but also for public policy initiatives.

The Nexos article specifically highlights the most recent 2016 Justiciabarómetro publication, which covered 11 Mexican states with a response rate of 56%. In comparison to the baseline of the first Justiciabarómetro study, the 2016 study discovered several positive changes in the attitudes of the surveyed judicial operators towards judicial reform. For example, about 80% of the survey participants believe that the NSJP will reduce institutional corruption and about 95% of judicial operators prefer the new oral, adversarial trial procedures over the antiquated, written procedures. The 2016 study also identifies several persisting challenges within Mexico’s judicial system that beg to be address for the sake of the success and continuity of the judicial reform process.

Overall, the Nexos article underscores the objectives and important findings of the latest Justiciabarómetro study with relation to Mexico’s judicial reform and judicial operators. The objective of Justice in Mexico’s ongoing Justiciabarómetro project is not only to fill the gap in the literature related to judicial operators, but also to provide routine evaluation of the Mexican judicial system. In this manner, the Justiciabarómetro can identify progressive development and remaining challenges within Mexico’s comprehensive judicial reform and judicial personnel. It is the overarching goal of our organization to accentuate the positive impact of the relatively new oral, adversarial system in Mexico’s rule of law and subsequently reinforce the continuous development of Mexico’s judicial system.

 

Please see below for a link to the Nexos feature (Spanish); there is also a separate link to the translated Nexos article (English).

Nexos (Spanish): Nexos Feature

Translation (English): Nexos Translation

 

 

 

Discussing Judicial Operators Perspectives in Mexico: Justiciabarómetro 2017 Presentation

05/11/17- Justice in Mexico will present findings from their 2017 Justiciabarómetro report which provides a comprehensive measure on the perspectives of judicial operators in Mexico on a variety of topics including judicial system effectiveness, compensation levels, and attitudes toward Mexico’s recent problems with crime and violence. Importantly, the study finds that there have been changes in judicial attitudes toward recent reform efforts, including a notable increase in favorability among judges toward the use of oral, adversarial trial procedures introduced in June 2008 and implemented nationwide over an eight-year period.

Discussing Changes in Adversarial Trial Procedures in Mexico

In the lead up to the June 18, 2016 deadline for the use of oral, adversarial trial procedures to be implemented nationwide, Justice in Mexico worked with the Mexican polling firm Data- Opinion y Mercados (Data OPM) to conduct the second Justiciabarómetro survey of more than 700 Mexican judges, prosecutors, and public defenders, building on a previous study conducted in 2010. The 2016 Justiciabarómetro study is the largest survey ever of Mexican judges and was administered in 12 states with varying levels of progress in implementing the reforms. Importantly, the results from the survey demonstrate important progress for the transition to the new criminal justice system.  While anecdotal data emphasizes judges and other judicial operators are largely opposed to the new adversarial system, the Justiciabarómetro survey findings dispel these claims as the judges and other judicial operators largely appear to be conscious and supportive of the benefits of reforms to Mexican criminal procedures.

The presentation of the report will be held at:

Sala de Usos Múltiples del Edificio del Poder Judicial del Estado de Baja California 
Mexicali, Baja California
17 de mayo, a partir de las 11 hrs.

Registration: www.pjbc.gob.mx/inscripciones


Speakers for this event include:

David Shirk, Director of Justice in Mexico, Associate Professor and Director of the M.A. program in Political Science and International Relations at the University of San Diego.

Octavio Rodríguez, Coordinator of Justice in Mexico

Judge Luciano Angulo Espinoza, State of Baja California

The Justiciabarómetro 2017 report is available in English and Spanish. The English version can be found here: DownloadThe Spanish version of the report can be found here: Download