Today I went to jail

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

“Effectivisation”: A post about the law (and reforming it)

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)

In Bolivia, Justice for 3-Year-Old Mona Seemed Impossible…Until It Happened

Reproduced from the IJM Newsroom: http://news.ijm.org/in-bolivia-justice-for-3-year-old-mona-seemed-impossibleuntil-it-happened I didn’t write this one, but did provide the details and photos 🙂   LA PAZ, BOLIVIA October 29,2014 A three-and-a-half- year trial ended this month in Bolivia with justice for a little girl named Mona.* The trial lasted more than half the length of Mona’s lifetime, and the verdict closes a very painful chapter for her family. When Mona … Continue reading In Bolivia, Justice for 3-Year-Old Mona Seemed Impossible…Until It Happened