Ways to enhance the Argentine justice system


News Team

The Argentine Penal Code has been in force since 1921. It is a reality that the judicial system, on some occasions, does not work in the same way when it comes to a case of corruption or economic crime, as it does with respect to common crimes. Society expects much more from justice than what justice provides. In the 21st century there is no doubt that society should be part of the public debate regarding legislative reforms on the matter.

It is expected that justice will have closer contact with society. May access to justice be a palpable right. Let the judges pay their taxes and make public their asset declarations. That inspire confidence, a product of their independence of judgment. That at the same time provide a service to society. And that they do it with simple, easy-to-understand language.

The holding of oral hearings, which must be communicated through official media, also constitutes a mechanism for citizen control of government acts, so that citizens can understand how a file is resolved. Furthermore, it is imperative that the administration system of justice is effective and efficient in its management. All cases must be resolved as soon as possible, already complying with the guarantees of due process, since true to the popular adage, slow justice… is not justice.

The promulgation of oral trials would be vital to shorten the time of the judicial process. That is why society calls for preventive detention prior to sentencing, despite the state of innocence that all citizens enjoy until a final sentence says otherwise and the legal parameters that regulate when that is possible in preventive confinement. They ask for a sentence before the sentence, because they feel that it never arrives.

Judges, prosecutors and defenders act as a business director in the public sphere. They must specialize and train to then organize work and transmit their knowledge and experiences to their employees, who must be selected taking into account different aspects, work experience, academic merits, giving the opportunity to all applicants, without distinctions or personal or family favoritism.

Management control on judicial operators and the knowledge of these operators of the existence of control increases productivity in terms of effectiveness and efficiency. Currently, control should not neglect investigations into economic crimes, particularly smuggling, tax evasion, money laundering, assets, drug trafficking and corruption, among others.

The principle of publicity of government acts is typical of the republican system adopted by Argentina and enshrined in article 1 of the CN. In this way, the publicity of those acts become an unavoidable demand for the public authorities of the country; among them, the judges of the Nation. This conception determines, as a logical derivation, the existence of a constitutional right of citizens to access State information in order to exercise control over the authorities.

In this sense, the CSJN has highlighted the importance of the right of access to public information in a democratic society. The Court has expressed that Art. 13.1 of the ACHR supposes the right of people to receive information and the positive obligation of the State to provide it, thus linking the right to freedom of thought and expression with the right of access to the information held by the State.

Publicizing statistics on crimes, complaints and convictions is the best way for police and judicial operators to feel that they must be accountable for their actions before the public. That is to say, there must not only be internal control by the institution itself or, in the case of the federal security forces, by the Ministry of Justice, but also by the citizens themselves and through the press.

Oral and public acts allow, on the one hand, to give greater transparency to the process and, on the other, greater speed to the process. Orality requires less time than the written system because naturally requires fewer formalities and because it almost necessarily requires immediate resolution by the judge or prosecutor, since it requires their presence at the event and it is difficult to delay the resolution for the future if what happened is not recorded in writing.

If you take into account that the current Argentine Penal Code has been in force for more than 100 years, since it dates back to 1921, and that 900 laws were incorporated into it, there is a need to unify all crimes in a single regulatory body: from genocide to economic crimes, tax evasion, smuggling, money laundering, drug trafficking, electoral fraud, computer crimes, trafficking. people, gender violence, homicide, organ trafficking, robbery, and more.

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