News & Events
TBI Adversarial Trials Skills Course
The Trans-Border Institute launched a new Adversarial Trial Skills course when Program Associate and Advisory Council Member Janice Deaton was invited by the Poder Judicial and State of Guanajuato to teach a 45-hour course on adversarial skills earlier this month. The course was held from Feb. 27 through March 2 for 30 participants —10 judges, 10 prosecutors, and 10 public defenders — at the Poder Judicial headquarters in Guanajuato, Guanajuato. All 30 students were from the state capital, which is the first of four regions in Guanajuato to implement the adversarial system under Mexico's 2008 Constitutional reform.
The course covered not only the basic skills of oral trials, which are a cornerstone of the new judicial system, but also touched upon skills needed in all adversarial hearings, both pre- and post-trial. The weeklong course culminated in the performance of a complete trial on Friday, presided over by the judges, and prosecuted and defended by the parties. All 30 participants had a role in the trial.
The state of Guanajuato consists of four regions for purposes of the Constitutional Reform and its implementation there. The adversarial system is being implemented both by geographic region (geographic gradualism), as well as by area of law (substantive gradualism).
Guanajuato was the first region to begin with the introduction of the penal law reforms back on Sept. 1, 2011, and will continue with the reforms when it begins using the adversarial system in mercantile and family law in January 2013. The next region to implement the new system will be Irapuato on Jan. 1, 2013, followed by Celaya in January 2014, and finally León, which will implement oral trials in the penal system in January 2015.
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