1. Since 2011, Supreme Court judges have been elected by popular vote. In January 2015, President Evo Morales admitted the justice system had gotten worse under this arrangement, and proposed a referendum to modify the constitution and reform the justice system. 2. Under Morales (that is, since 2006), there have been five female Ministers for Justice – no men have held this portfolio. 3. Until 30 October … Continue reading Five fun facts about the Bolivia legal system
The concrete walls soar straight up towards the sunny sky. It’s just like a fortress should be – a fortress founded smack bam in the middle of the city. San Pedro Penitentiary. IJM lawyer D says it’s a nasty place. “Horrible!” she affirms. Meanwhile, minibuses and motorbikes rumble past in the mid-morning traffic. The small side entrance opens and the unlit room we find ourselves in seems to … Continue reading Today I went to jail
Bolivia is currently reforming its justice system. On October 31, the Bolivian Parliament passed a new piece of legislation, called the Law for the Decongestion and Effectivisation of the Criminal Procedure System. In case you were wondering, it’s Ley de Decongestionamiento y Efectivización del Sistema Procesal Penal in Spanish – and “efectivización” isn’t a real word in Spanish either, hence the weird translation.
Process is at the heart of justice – as important as a just result is a just procedure to arrive at that result. I’ll confess I’ve forgotten a lot of what they taught me at law school, but this particular principal of justice has stuck with me. Working at IJM Bolivia, I am struck anew by how much of a paradox this often is. Continue reading “Effectivisation”: A post about the law (and reforming it)