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The American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) continues to aid the Ecuadorian legal community in its changeover from an inquisitorial toan accusatorial (or adversarial) legal system. Toward this end, ABA ROLI sponsored a study tour to Puerto Rico for members of Ecuador’s Consejo Nacional de la Judicatura (National Judicial Advisory Committee), MinisterioPúblico (Prosecutor’s Office), and Policía Judicial (JudicialPolice). By providing Ecuadorian counterparts with the opportunity to observe amature accusatorial system, the study tour enhanced a series of in-country trainings that ABA ROLI later conducted to assist the Ecuadorian government implement its new criminal procedure code.
During the four-day study tour, participants visited forensics institutes,law schools and both federal and state courts. Each observational visit wasfollowed by lectures and question-and-answer sessions. This structure wasuseful in helping the Ecuadorian participants supplement their theoreticalknowledge with a practical understanding of the accusatorial system’s uniqueand often complex processes. By familiarizing themselves with the system andseeing accusatorial and oral methods in practice, study tour participants cameaway with a more solid understanding of their implementation goals in Ecuador. Further, the relationships established between Ecuadorian prosecutors, police andjudges will foster a more fruitful exchange of ideas and best practices thatwill help build a sustainable and transparent accusatorial system in Ecuador.