Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice

Victims’ Rights in Flux: Criminal Justice Reform in Colombia

Authors: Sánchez-Mejía, Astrid Liliana

  • Explores how the adoption of adversarial systems in Latin America has affected victims’ rights by specifically analyzing the Colombian criminal justice reformSheds vital new light on the understanding of victims’ rights in criminal proceedings
  • Provides a unique treatment for readers interested in victims’ rights in the criminal process, employing a range of theoretical traditions and tools
  • Presents an innovative, empirical assessment of the rights of crime victims following the adversarial criminal justice reform in Colombia
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Hardcover $169.99
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About this book

Contributing to the literature on comparative criminal procedure and Latin American law, this book examines the effects of adversarial criminal justice reforms on victim’s rights by specifically analyzing the Colombian criminal justice reform of the early 2000s. This research focuses on the production, interpretation, and implementation of rules and institutions by exploring how different actors have employed the concept of victims and victims’ rights to promote their agendas in the context of criminal justice reforms. It also analyzes how the goals of these agendas have interplayed in practice. By the early 2000s, it seemed that the Colombian criminal justice system was headed towards a process characterized by broader victim participation, primarily because of the doctrine of the Constitutional Court on victims’ rights. But in 2002, the Colombian Attorney General promoted a more adversarial criminal justice reform. This book argues that this reform represented a sudden and unpredicted reversal of the Constitutional Court’s doctrine on victim participation, even though one of the central justifications for the reform was the need to satisfy human rights standards and adhere to the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court on victims’ rights. In the criminal justice reform of the early 2000s and its subsequent modifications, the promotion of a dichotomous interpretation of the adversarial model—which conceived the criminal process as a competition between prosecution and defense—served to limit victim participation. This study examines how conceptions of victims’ rights emerged out of the struggles between different and at times competing agendas. In the Colombian process of reform, victims’ rights have been invoked both as a justification for criminal sanctions and as an explanation for crime prevention and restorative justice. After assessing quantitative and qualitative data, this book concludes that punitive approaches to victims’ rights have prevailed over restorative justice perspectives. Furthermore, it argues that punitiveness in the criminal justice system has not resulted in more protection for victims. Ultimately, this research reveals that the adversarial criminal justice reform of the early 2000s has not substantially improved the protection of victims’ rights in Colombia.

About the authors

Astrid Liliana Sanchez Mejia is a Professor of Law at Javeriana University (Colombia). Her research focuses on criminal justice, human rights, and violence against women. She earned her Doctor of Juridical Science (S.J.D.) degree from UCLA, her LL.M. in Legal Theory from NYU, her Master of Laws from Los Andes University (Colombia), and her law degree from Javeriana University. She was a recipient of the Fulbright Fellowship, the Colciencias Fellowship, the Dean’s Tuition Fellowship at UCLA School of Law, and the International Fellowship of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). Professor Sanchez Mejia has taught at various universities and training centers for state representatives in Colombia and Latin America. 

Table of contents (4 chapters)

  • The Expansion of Rights of Crime Victims in the Context of the 1991 Constitution

    Sánchez-Mejía, Astrid Liliana

    Pages 1-55

  • (Un)Protecting Victims’ Rights in the Colombian Criminal Justice Reform of the Early 2000s

    Sánchez-Mejía, Astrid Liliana

    Pages 57-105

  • Reactions to the Regulation on Victims of the 2004 CPC: Challenges, Adjustments, and Punitive Counterreforms

    Sánchez-Mejía, Astrid Liliana

    Pages 107-179

  • Assessing the Effects of the 2004 CPC on Victim’s Rights

    Sánchez-Mejía, Astrid Liliana

    Pages 181-247

Buy this book

eBook $129.00
price for Mexico (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-59852-9
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: EPUB, PDF
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $169.99
price for Mexico
  • ISBN 978-3-319-59851-2
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Victims’ Rights in Flux: Criminal Justice Reform in Colombia
Authors
Series Title
Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice
Series Volume
62
Copyright
2017
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing AG
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-59852-9
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-59852-9
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-59851-2
Series ISSN
1534-6781
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XXVII, 265
Number of Illustrations and Tables
42 b/w illustrations
Topics