Reforming the Administration of Justice in Mexico

Edited by Wayne A. Cornelius and David A. Shirk

“This book will interest academics and policy makers concerned with the sorry state of the administration of justice in Latin America at large, and Mexico more specifically. The chapters leave almost no controversial issues surrounding the justice system untouched. From diverse legal, criminal, social, and political perspectives the justice system is held under scrutiny and found to be wanting. The end result is a number of well-thought-out suggested solutions to a long-standing problem.” —Nibaldo H. Galleguillos, McMaster University

“The number one issue in Mexico today is crime. This edited work is the most comprehensive volume to date examining all facets of public security, ranging from the judicial system, to the practice of law, to the militarization of the police. It is an outstanding contribution theoretically and substantively on understanding an essential but little explored condition in Mexico, having implications for U.S. security, and deserving a wide readership on both sides of the border.“ —Roderic Ai Camp, McKenna Professor of the Pacific Rim, Claremont McKenna College

This landmark study examines the challenges Mexico faces in reforming the administration of its justice system—a critical undertaking for the consolidation of democracy, the well-being of Mexican citizens, and U.S.-Mexican relations. The result of over four years of research from the Project on Reforming the Administration of Justice in Mexico, this bi-national collaborative initiative brought together U.S. and Mexican scholars, policy makers, law enforcement officials, lawyers, activists, and other experts to analyze diverse topics in the administration of justice. The outcome of the study presents for the first time an up-to-date analysis of the functioning and imperfections of the Mexican justice system.

The contributors cover five key themes in Mexican justice reform: crime and criminology, policing and police reform, legal actors and judicial reform, civic mobilization and oversight in the justice system, and practical policy recommendations for future improvement of the justice system. In addition, they present new sources of empirical data, useful case studies evaluating state and local level challenges, and analyses of best practices.

Reforming the Administration of Justice in Mexico provides an essential resource for scholars, legal practitioners, policy makers, students, and members of the general public trying to understand challenges facing Mexico’s justice system today and for the foreseeable future. The book will be useful and accessible for courses on Latin American Politics, U.S.-Mexican relations, and transnational crime and security.

WAYNE A. CORNELIUS is Distinguished Professor of Political Science and U.S.-Mexican Relations at the University of California, San Diego.

DAVID A. SHIRK is Director of the Trans-Border Institute and assistant professor of political science at the University of San Diego.

CONTRIBUTORS: David A. Shirk, Alejandra Rios, Robert Buffington, Pablo Piccato, Irasema Coronado, Elena Azaola, Benjamin Reames, Guillermo Zepeda Lecuona, Sigrid Arzt, Carlos Silva, Sara Schatz, Hugo Concha, Ana Laura Magaloni, Elisa Speckman Guerra, Hector Fix-Fierro, and Jeffrey K. Staton, Robert Kossick, Pablo Paras, Kathleen Staudt, Rosalva Aida Hernandez, and Hector Ortiz Elizondo, Robert O. Varenik, Mario Arroyo, Allison Rowland, Marcos Pablo Moloeznik, Wayne A. Cornelius, and John J. Bailey

Reviews

“This book examines the challenges Mexico faces in reforming the administration of its justice system, which Cornelius sees as critical for the consolidation of democracy, the well-being of Mexican citizens, and successful U.S.-Mexican relations. Contributors cover such topics as: policing, judicial reform, and oversight in the justice system. In addition, the book presents sources of empirical data, case studies evaluating state and local level challenges, and analyses of best practices.” — Law and Social Inquiry