HomeNewsBriefJusticiabarometro: Survey of Judges, Prosecutors, and Public Defenders in Nine Mexican States
BRIEF

Justiciabarometro: Survey of Judges, Prosecutors, and Public Defenders in Nine Mexican States

MEXICO / 7 JUN 2011 BY INSIGHT CRIME EN

The Justice in Mexico Project's survey of legal professionals' views on the criminal justice system in nine Mexican states. Over 268 judges, prosecutors and public defenders were contacted for the survey, which sought their opinions on issues including corruption, the state of their profession, and the 2008 justice system reforms.

An excerpt from the preface:

Data on Mexican legal professions are scarce. While there are many widely available statistical indicators about crime, victimization, and public opinion on the rule of law in Mexico, there have been few systematic, quantitative efforts to gauge the current levels of professional development, working conditions, and attitudes of the primary operators of the Mexican justice system, namely police, prosecutors, public defenders, and judges. Due in part to this lack of knowledge on legal professionals, Mexico’s criminal justice system remains an enormous “black box” whose internal weaknesses are often readily recognized but difficult to quantify.

In 2009, the Justice in Mexico Project, a multi-year research initiative coordinated by the Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego (USD), launched a series of studies to evaluate the perceptions and professional development of actors in Mexico’s judicial sector. Working with an interdisciplinary, bi-national team of experts on Mexico’s justice sector, this series of studies -- titled the Justiciabarometro, or “Justice Barometer” -- consists of surveys, interviews, and policy research to examine the strengths, challenges, and resource needs of Mexican law enforcement agencies and judicial institutions, and the justice sector in general. The initial Justiciabarometro study consisted of amajor academic survey of municipal police in 2009, including 5,422 local law enforcement personnelin the six municipal governments that make up the Guadalajara metropolitan area. In 2010, a subsequent police study was conducted, involving more than 2,400 local police in the municipality of Ciudad Juarez, a city that has had a series of brutal homicides targeting women since the 1990s and severe levels of crime and violence since early 2008.

From the key findings highlighted in the executive summary:

New judicial reforms seen by some ineffective, a result of foreign influence, and unlikely to reduce crime. Respondents were split on the effectiveness and efficiency of Mexico’s traditional criminal justice system, on whether that system was deliberately discredited to make way for the 2008 judicial reform, on whether foreign interests were behind the new judicial system, and whether judicial reform will reduce criminality.

Even so, new criminal procedures are generally well regarded, especially in states still awaiting reform. Still, the provisions included in the 2008 reforms -- introducing oral, adversarial criminal procedures -- were well regarded, particularly in states where they had not yet taken effect; the most significant reservations tended to register among respondents from states that had already adopted the reforms for some time. Many respondents are optimistic that it will improve efficiency and reduce corruption in the judicial system.

Find the complete study here (pdf).

The Justice in Mexico Project is funded by The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, The Tinker Foundation, The Open Society Institute, and the contributions of individual donors to the Trans-Border Institute.

share icon icon icon

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

What are your thoughts? Click here to send InSight Crime your comments.

We encourage readers to copy and distribute our work for non-commercial purposes, with attribution to InSight Crime in the byline and links to the original at both the top and bottom of the article. Check the Creative Commons website for more details of how to share our work, and please send us an email if you use an article.

Tags

Was this content helpful?

We want to sustain Latin America’s largest organized crime database, but in order to do so, we need resources.

DONATE

Related Content

GULF CARTEL / 21 FEB 2013

An extremely violent video released online threatens those who use social media to report on organized crime in Mexico,…

GUERREROS UNIDOS / 12 JUL 2016

The capture of an alleged local Knights Templar chief on the coast of Guerrero promises to bring down insecurity in…

JALISCO CARTEL / 16 MAR 2015

It would be easy to think that given all that has happened in Mexico's Michoacan state over the last few…

About InSight Crime

THE ORGANIZATION

Apure Investigation Makes Headlines

22 OCT 2021

InSight Crime’s investigation into the battle for the Venezuelan border state of Apure resonated in both Colombian and Venezuelan media. A dozen outlets picked up the report, including Venezuela’s…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Tackles Illegal Fishing

15 OCT 2021

In October, InSight Crime and American University’s Center for Latin American and Latino Studies (CLALS) began a year-long project on illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing in…

THE ORGANIZATION

InSight Crime Featured in Handbook for Reporting on Organized Crime

8 OCT 2021

In late September, the Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) published an excerpt of its forthcoming guide on reporting organized crime in Indonesia.

THE ORGANIZATION

Probing Organized Crime in Haiti

1 OCT 2021

InSight Crime has made it a priority to investigate organized crime in Haiti, where an impotent state is reeling after the July assassination of President Jovenel Moïse, coupled with an…

THE ORGANIZATION

Emergency First Aid in Hostile Environments

24 SEP 2021

At InSight Crime's annual treat, we ramped up hostile environment and emergency first aid training for our 40-member staff, many of whom conduct on-the-ground investigations in dangerous corners of the region.