Victims’ Rights in Flux: Criminal Justice Reform in Colombia

von Astrid Liliana Sánchez-Mejía
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Astrid Liliana Sánchez-Mejía Victims’ Rights in Flux: Criminal Justice Reform in Colombia
Astrid Liliana Sánchez-Mejía - Victims’ Rights in Flux: Criminal Justice Reform in Colombia

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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.


Astrid Liliana Sánchez-Mejía

Weitere Informationen

Anmerkung Illustrationen:
XXVII, 265 p. 42 illus.
Chapter 1. The Expansion of Rights of Crime Victims in the Context of the 1991 Constitution.- Chapter 2. (Un)protecting Victims’ Rights in the Colombian Criminal Justice Reform of the Early 2000s.- Chapter 3. Reactions to the Regulation on Victims of the 2004 CPC: Challenges, Adjustments, and Punitive Counterreforms.- Chapter 4. Assessing the Effects of the 2004 CPC on Victim’s Rights Data.
Explores how the adoption of adversarial systems in Latin America has affected victims’ rights by specifically analyzing the Colombian criminal justice reform

Sheds 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

Includes supplementary material:

Springer International Publishing
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. 
Softcover reprint of the original 1st ed. 2017


0.235 x 0.155 x 0.017 m; 0.458 kg
CHF 137.55
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