In what experts say is nothing short of a revolution, Mexico is gradually abandoning its centuries-old Napoleonic system of closed-door, written inquisitions — largely a legacy of Spanish colonial rule — that had long been criticized as rife with corruption, opaque decisions, abuse of defendants and red tape that bogged down cases for years.
Instead, for the first time, defendants will be presumed innocent until proved guilty, instead of the other way around, as they are now. The police will use more forensics and meticulous fact-gathering. Plea bargains, mediation and probation, never tried before in Mexico, will become standard.
And, in what many consider one of the biggest leaps, courtroom doors will be thrown open to the public for oral trials before a trio of judges where victims and the accused can confront one another and evidence will be laid out in the open.
NYT. Previous installments on Mexico's regulatory reforms here, here and here. Note that so far these reforms have been adopted in only four states: Chihuahua, Oaxaca, Nuevo León and Baja California. (HT)