August 31, 2013

Peruvian Delegation Observes Colombian Reform Process

August 2013

Continuing its efforts to support Peru’s justice sector reform, the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) took a 12-member delegation on a May 13–17 study tour to Bogota, Colombia. The delegation included senior-level representatives from the Peruvian Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, the Office of Public Defense, the Public Ministry, the National Police and the Special Commission for the Implementation of the Accusatorial System.

The Peruvian delegation visited the forensics lab at the National Public Defense Office, where staff demonstrated the use of advanced technology to determine the path of a bullet.

The trip offered the visiting team a comparative view of the accusatorial criminal justice system, which Peru has been implementing gradually since the adoption of a 2006 Criminal Procedure Code. The delegation met with representatives from Colombian judicial institutions and civil society organizations, who shared their experiences with Colombia’s transition to the accusatorial system. At the Attorney General’s Office, the team learned about the office’s efforts to promote better prosecutor-police coordination in investigating criminal cases. During the delegation’s visit to the judicial training institute, Colombian judges discussed the role of judicial institutions in preparing the next generation of judges. The team also visited the National Police to tour facilities and to learn from investigators about the use of forensic evidence in criminal cases. Additionally, the delegation discussed institutional challenges to justice reform in Colombia and caseload management during its visit of the Institute of Procedural Law.  Towards the conclusion of the tour, delegates visited the Universidad del Rosario law school, where they met with faculty to discuss legal education reform, including the challenges of changing teaching methodologies.

Representatives of the Colombian institutions told their Peruvian counterparts about their role in the transition and the challenges they continue to face. Members of the Peruvian delegation said that the tour was a success. Cesar Castañeda Serrano, a member of the touring team and president of the Superior Court of the Callao judicial district, said that the participants have gained knowledge and ideas that will allow them to design and implement strategic plans. He said that they “[will] repeat the positive aspects of Colombia’s experience and correct the deficiencies.”

“The process of training judges, prosecutors and police officers is important,” said Dante Terrel Crispín, president of the Superior Court of North Lima, “[It] is something that we should take the time and resources to do.” He added that the knowledge they gained will enable them to implement the CPC successfully. The Peruvian delegates are documenting the lessons they learned to share with their peers.

To learn more about our work in Peru, contact the ABA Rule of Law Initiative at rol@americanbar.org.