Since 2013, ABA ROLI has supported Mexico’s transition from an inquisitorial, written-based system to an accusatorial system through our program, New Advocates for Mexican Justice, funded by the U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs. This program started with the intention of supporting the New Criminal Justice System (NCJS), which was the result of a constitutional reform in Mexico that shifted from a written-based criminal justice system towards an orality-based accusatorial system. ABA ROLI works with Mexican law schools to prepare the next generation of Mexican attorneys for practice in the accusatorial trial context. To build the capacity of the students and faculty in Mexico’s law schools, ABA ROLI works with the institutions to develop the student’s litigation, mediation, and restorative justice skills, as well as tailor the instructors’ legal education teaching methods to mirror the accusatorial trial system. Since the project’s inception, ABA ROLI has reached more than 6,000 law students representing all thirty-two Mexican states, 935 law school professors, and 237 law schools through technical skills training sessions and the administration of nationwide mock trial and mediation competitions.
The program also seeks to link program graduates with agencies involved in the criminal justice sector as a strategy to strengthen the institutions in charge of the judicial resolutions, prosecute crimes and criminal defense.