Post-Earthquake Legal Reform in Haiti: In On the Ground Floor

The old European way of trying criminal cases, the so- called inquisitorial system, is dying. Throughout Latin America, countries have passed new codes of criminal procedure that have adopted the party system, similar to the accusatorial system in the United States. Even in Europe, lawyers and lawmakers are advocating for a more open and adversarial system. They have managed to enact new legislation calling, at least, for an end to the secrecy of the old procedures, a greater role for lawyers, and a more oral and public system for trying cases. Most dramatically, in France, the birthplace of the European model, President Sarkozy, in 2009, called to replace the centrepiece of the inquisitorial system, the juge d’instruction, with a more party-oriented judge and to transfer the duties of investigation to the public prosecutor…

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