Noticias

Second Version of Central American Certificate Program on Procedure Reform Has Two Host Countries

With the participation of students from Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, the first on site phase of the second Central American Certificate Program on Criminal Procedure Reform was held in Guatemala. The initiative is organized by JSCA with Universidad de San Carlos, the Institute for Comparative Studies in the Criminal Sciences of Guatemala (ICCPG) and Universidad de Costa Rica. The addition of Universidad de Costa Rica as an organizer has allowed the initiative to have two host countries. The first on site stage of the program was held May 23-27 in Guatemala City and the second will be held November 28-December 2 in San José de Costa Rica.

With the participation of students from Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Argentina, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic, the first on site phase of the second Central American Certificate Program on Criminal Procedure Reform was held in Guatemala. The initiative is organized by JSCA with Universidad de San Carlos, the Institute for Comparative Studies in the Criminal Sciences of Guatemala (ICCPG) and Universidad de Costa Rica. The addition of Universidad de Costa Rica as an organizer has allowed the initiative to have two host countries. The first on site stage of the program was held May 23-27 in Guatemala City and the second will be held November 28-December 2 in San José de Costa Rica.

The second on site phase is offered by the organizers as an independent oral litigation workshop that can be attended by interested parties who did not take part in the first phase of the certificate program. They will receive credit for this activity as a Training Workshop.

The goal of this certificate program is to address the implementation and operation of criminal justice reforms, taking up discussions and issues that are unique to Central America with the understanding that the legal reality of the countries in the subregion has acquired a unique dimension the requires training activities that have been designed with it in mind. The program consists of two on site phases and a distance learning phase that will be delivered via the www.cejacampus.org platform using e-learning methodology.

The inauguration of the first on site phase of the certificate program featured the President of the ICCPG Board of Directors, Elvin Díaz; the Dean of the Universidad de Costa Rica Law School, Alfredo Chirino; the representative of the Dean of the Universidad de San Carlos Law School, Valeska Ruiz; and JSCA Executive Director Jaime Arellano.

During the first on site phase, the main issues linked to criminal justice reform processes were addressed from a general and introductory perspective. Organizers provided an overview of criminal justice reform in Latin America, Central America and the Caribbean. The other topics presented include:

  • oral procedures as a methodology and introduction to oral trial;
  • the organization of the criminal investigation and its challenges;
  • the organization of the defense and role of the public defender;
  • the courts and criminal procedure reform;
  • judicial office management;
  • the role of training in a reform process;
  • criminal law and gender;
  • criminal justice for adolescents;
  • legal pluralism;
  • high impact crime and strategic criminal prosecution, complex crimes and functions of criminal analysis;
  • requirements of a system of legal remedies in oral procedure;
  • sentence execution, problems and challenges;
  • and oversight of protective measures, conditional suspension of the process and non-custodial post-conviction measures.


The virtual phase will be developed between June and November. The topics to be addressed are issues that must be considered when designing and implementing a criminal justice reform. The phase features both a conceptual approach and an overview of regional experiences. These include the use of oral procedures at the pre-trial stage, the guarantee function in new criminal processes and extensive use of pretrial detention as a protective measure, court management, public defender’s office management, innovations in the case management system, the management of the public prosecutor’s office, challenges of the police in reformed systems, the use of alternative outcomes and alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and criminal procedure reform and public safety.

The second and final on site phase will be held November 28-December 2 in San José, Costa Rica. It will have a workshop format and will focus on litigation skills for an adversarial system, addressing specific aspects of criminal justice in Central America. Opening and closing arguments will be reviewed along with information production and control techniques and there will be simulations of specialized litigation in pretrial hearings as well as a mock oral trial.