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August 01, 2008

ABA ROLI Sponsors a Study Tour to Puerto Rico for Ecuadorian Legal Professionals

August 2008

The American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) continues to aid the Ecuadorian legal community in its changeover from an inquisitorial to an 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), Ministerio Público (Prosecutor’s Office), and Policía Judicial (Judicial Police). By providing Ecuadorian counterparts with the opportunity to observe amateur 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 was followed by lectures and question-and-answer sessions. This structure was useful in helping the Ecuadorian participants supplement their theoretical knowledge with a practical understanding of the accusatorial system’s unique and often complex processes. By familiarizing themselves with the system and seeing accusatorial and oral methods in practice, study tour participants came away with a more solid understanding of their implementation goals in Ecuador. Further, the relationships established between Ecuadorian prosecutors, police and judges will foster a more fruitful exchange of ideas and best practices that will help build a sustainable and transparent accusatorial system in Ecuador.

For more information about the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative’s work in Ecuador, please contact Charles Caruso, Director Criminal Justice Reform Project, at <[email protected]>.