Results of the criminal justice reform in Mexico, two years after its implementation

It has been 10 years since, in 2008, Mexico approved a constitutional reform with the aim of drastically transforming the criminal justice system. The adversarial accusatory system promised increased transparency, accountability, and stronger protections for victims and those accused of crimes. The eight-year term established in the Constitution for the 32 states to transition to the New Criminal Justice System (NCJS) ended in June 2016, two years ago. What has been the impact of the criminal justice reform?

To answer this question, the World Justice Project (WJP) and Abogados con Cámara conducted an analysis of the National Survey of Population Deprived of Liberty (ENPOL) –which includes responses from more than 58,000 inmates– combined with a database with the implementation date of the NCJS at the municipal level and by type of crime. On June 18, in the context of the anniversary of the criminal justice reform, WJP and Abogados con Cámara presented a report with the main highlights of this analysis.

The report explains that, as a result of the implementation of the NCJS, the judge’s rulings are clearer, the judges are present and pay attention to the court hearings, and hearings are recorded in audio and/or video. In addition, judicial proceedings are faster. The analysis also shows that the positive effects of the reform take time. In fact, the first implementers of the NCJS show a better performance than other states, although all of them show gradual improvements.

On the other hand, the analysis reveals that challenges persist in the police and prosecution, and today, the mistreatment of people during detention continues to be a frequent problem. Reforming these institutions is a task that cannot be postponed if we want to improve the quality of the criminal justice system.


Resultados de la reforma de justicia penal en México, a dos años de su implementación

Han pasado 10 años desde que, en 2008, México aprobó una reforma constitucional con el objetivo de transformar drásticamente la justicia penal. Con el sistema acusatorio adversarial se buscaba garantizar procesos transparentes, eficientes, y respetuosos de los derechos de las víctimas y de las personas acusadas por algún delito. El plazo de ocho años que se estableció en la Constitución para que las 32 entidades del país transitaran al Nuevo Sistema de Justicia Penal (NSJP) concluyó en junio de 2016, hace dos años. En este punto del camino recorrido, ¿cuál ha sido el impacto de la reforma penal?

Para contestar esta pregunta, el World Justice Project (WJP) y Abogados con Cámara, A.C. realizaron un análisis de la Encuesta Nacional de Población Privada de la Libertad (ENPOL) –que incluye respuestas de más de 58 mil personas privadas de la libertad–, en combinación con una base de datos de la fecha de implementación de la reforma a nivel municipal y por tipo de delito. Con esta información, presentaron el reporte “La nueva justicia penal en México: Avances palpables y retos persistentes” el 18 de junio, en el contexto del aniversario de la reforma de justicia penal.

El reporte explica que, como resultado de la implementación del NSJP, las sentencias son más claras, los jueces están presentes y ponen atención en las audiencias, y las audiencias son grabadas en audio y/o video. Además, los procesos judiciales son más rápidos.

También se encontró que los efectos positivos de la reforma toman tiempo. De hecho, los primeros implementadores del nuevo sistema muestran un mejor desempeño que las otras entidades del país, aunque en todas se observan mejoras graduales.

Por otro lado, el análisis revela que persisten retos en la policía y las fiscalías, y hoy, el maltrato a las personas durante la detención sigue siendo un problema frecuente. Reformar ambos eslabones es una tarea inaplazable para mejorar la calidad de la justicia y la capacidad del sistema para reducir la impunidad.

title bar

Read More

title bar

Corruption is on the rise globally, and the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated this trend and demonstrated its urgency. The 2021 WJP Rule of Law Index shows that 66% of the 139 countries covered by the Index declined in absence of corruption in 2021 and 58% have declined over the last six years. Meanwhile, Transparency International’s most recent Corruption Perceptions Index states that 131 out of 180 countries studied have made “no significant progress against corruption in the past decade.”  To address this mounting challenge, The World Justice Forum 2022 convened anti-corruption experts from around the world in The Hague and online to discuss the root causes of corruption, its existential threat to the rule of law, and the methods that prove most effective in combating it.

Read More

On September 4, Chile rejected the adoption of a new constitution, that would, among other provisions, enshrine gender parity at the national level.   World Justice Challenge 2022 honoree Fundación Multitudes was deeply involved in the lead up to the vote, hosting a series of conversations with women candidates to the Constitutional Convention, feminist activists, and others in 2020 and 2021. It was through these workshops that they recognized that disinformation and online gender-based violence were a barrier that discouraged women from pursuing a political career or even participating in the political arena as advocates and citizens.   WJP recently talked to Paulina Ibarra, Executive Director of Fundación Multitudes, to learn more about their work in Chile, and how, in light of the recent referendum results, they are looking to the future.  

Read More

Three months after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the World Justice Project sat down with Dariia Marchak, Chief Operating Officer of SE Prozorro.Sale, a World Justice Challenge finalist in the Anti-Corruption and Open Government Category.   SE Prozorro.Sale is a Ukrainian state enterprise that has transformed the country’s privatization process through an electronic auction platform that facilitates transparent sales of government assets to private companies. Since the war began, the company has continued its work, running auctions to raise money for Ukraine’s defense and humanitarian aid.   Marchak shared insights into SE Prozorro.Sale’s work as an anti-corruption platform and how months after the start of the war, Ukrainians are focused not just on resistance, but on building a better, stronger democracy.  

Read More

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was an exceptional lawyer, judge, and trailblazing advocate for women’s rights, in addition to being an honorary chair of the World Justice Project, where she has served as an inspiration for building the rule of law movement.   In June, the World Justice Project honored her legacy at the 2022 World Justice Forum, with the first Ruth Bader Ginsburg Legacy Keynote Conversation. The featured speaker was Sherrilyn Ifill, a prominent American civil rights lawyer and inspirational advocate who is president and director-counsel emeritus of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund.  Before a wide-ranging conversation with CIVICUS Secretary General Lysa John, Ifill delivered the keynote remarks below. 

Read More