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Justice for All? The Judicial System, Social Rights and Democracy in Colombia

The objective of this book is to offer an explanation of the origin, content and effect of the recent judicial reforms. The authors also undertake the challenge of evaluating the policies of judicial reform that have been developing in Colombia and in Latin America over the last two decades.


Interest in the study of the judiciary has grown significantly over the past ten years. What was a relatively opaque branch of power, technical and mechanical, is today, in most countries, a central part of the State and political power and an important factor in the definition and solution of social and institutional conflicts. It is therefore not surprising that one of the most controversial issues on the Colombian and Latin American political agenda is precisely judicial reform, and that in this debate, from the national government and economic unions, to associations of judges and lawyers, non-governmental organizations, academics and citizens in general, all participate. Within the context of this fundamental debate, this book is an unprecedented attempt to explain the origin, content and effects of recent judicial transformations in Colombia, and to evaluate the results of judicial reform policies that have been undertaken in the country and in Latin America during the last two decades. Combining theory and empirical work, on the one hand, and the Colombian case study with the study of the Latin American and global context on the other, this book offers fundamental tools for analysis and evaluation of the new role of the judicial branch.

For this reason, the book will be useful for analysts and actors of the judicial system and the State, as well as for students and citizens interested in the subject. The first part of the book raises a critical and detailed discussion with the economic theories of institutions and justice, which have greatly influenced the study and public policies on the judicial branch in recent years, both in Colombia and elsewhere and offer an alternative theory that the authors call social institutionalism. In the meantime, the chapters that compose the second and third parts analyze the figures and qualitative and quantitative studies on Colombian justice and offer elements of judgment to understand the past and the present of the judicial branch.

Based on this empirical diagnosis, the final chapters provide answers to current debates on the current situation and desirable (and undesirable) reforms to Colombian justice.

Find the entire book here

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