CRIME & PUBLIC ORDER - HUMAN RIGHTS & JUSTICE

Unjustly accused in Mexico

The structure of the Mexican criminal system frequently creates injustices because current laws give excessive discretional authority to the Public Ministry, the government agency responsible for criminal investigations. Judges remain separated from the investigation process and the presentation of evidence, and therefore they frequently lack key elements required to reach an informed verdict. Furthermore, the justice system is structured in a way that is often set up to fail. In practice, the current Mexican legal system suffers from a disconnection between the intent of laws and their implementation. Lawyer Ernesto Canales works toward reform of this system by promoting more transparent, efficient and honest trials. His organization, Renace, looks for ways to improve the Mexican legal system.

At the core of his efforts is the implementation of oral trials nationwide, starting with a state-by-state strategy. Renace helps state governments understand the failures of their criminal system, based on the inquisitorial model, and modify their legislation by implementing oral trials, based on an agile and efficient system that recognizes the most important rights of the victims and defendant. Renace has already managed to transform the legal system in the state of Nuevo Le€n and is working to reproduce its success in other states. Ernesto Canales’ position as a prestigious corporate lawyer has also helped him to unite many key figures from different public, private and social sectors to discuss criminal reform. These meetings have been so effective that they have been able to construct a proposal for criminal reform has been under discussion in the Senator’s Chamber as of April 2012. Renace has also spearheaded the creation of the National Network of Civil Organization of Support for Oral Trials and Due Process. More than one hundred higher-level institutions have joined this network, which, in 2008, led to the approval of a constitutional reform of the criminal justice system that incorporates the principles of oral trials.

Renace_website

Web site: http://www.renace.org.mx/

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