President Felipe Calderón signed Constitutional Reform Decree to guarantee that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
President Felipe Calderón on Tuesday signed legislation designed to fundamentally change Mexico's much-criticized justice system by allowing U.S.-style oral trials and establishing a presumption of innocence for criminal defendants.
The reforms were approved by Mexico's Congress and a majority of its state legislatures, marking a huge victory for Calderón, whose two predecessors had tried and failed to push through similar legislation.
Many of the changes may take years to go into practice. Courtrooms will have to be remodeled to accommodate the public. And thousands of prosecutors and judges must be trained in a completely new style of administering justice. Under the law, the changes do not need to be fully implemented until 2016.
Currently, criminal cases in Mexico are conducted almost exclusively in written briefs. The public almost never observes criminal proceedings, and defendants are frequently held in prison for years before their cases are resolved. While the changes have been applauded by international advocacy groups, some judges have quietly lobbied against them, arguing that oral trials would be influenced more by the emotions of courtroom audiences than the letter of the law.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Reform will provide better crime fighting tools
It will promote oral trials and guarantee victims’ rights.
President urges citizens not to let up in fight against crime.
President Felipe Calderón signed the Constitutional Reform Decree on Penal Justice and Public Safety, which will provide better legal tools for fighting crime and modernize the institutions responsible for administering justice on the basis of oral trials and the establishment of a new public safety model that will protect citizens.
He explained that as a result of this reform, Mexicans will take a major step in their struggle to ensure that the country prospers as a nation of laws and freedoms; a nation whose progress is based on peace, order, justice and legality.
Addressing the President of the Supreme Court of Justice of Mexico, Guillermo Ortiz Mayagoita, and the presidents of the Public Safety Commissions of the Chambers of Senators and Deputies, the President hailed the fact that after the legislative debate, it was decided to reinforce the Mexican system of administering justice.
In seven points, the President declared that the reform offers a transparent system of justice that respects the human rights of both victims and suspects, guaranteeing the legal principle that everyone is innocent until proved guilty.