ORAL TRIALS IN THE MEXICAN LEGAL SYSTEM
Mexican legal system is going through a transformation stage of which, probably the most obvious change for the society has been the implementation of oral trials. In the State of Guanajuato, the reform to the Federal Law that prevent the penal oral trials started to be applied on September 2011. This change attends primarily to economical reasons, but finally it benefits the parties involved in a penal procedure by diminishing the District Attorney´s authority within the procedure, amongst other reasons.
The reforms to the commercial law will start to operate on january the 28th of the current year. these reforms are directed to lawsuits which amount do not exceed the $220,553.48 pesos. judges will be invested with faculties to accelerate the proceedings and the courts will have the obligation of executing all the necessary actions to fulfill the requirements established in the reform, such as the sign of contracts with private or public institutions to provide interpretation and translation to non spanish speakers.
In August of this year, oral trials will be brought to the Family law area. The expectations are that these trials provide the proper platform to deal with these matters.Family law is by far the most complex area of the civil law, the circumstances of this type of cases demand prompt resolutions and effective measures to protect the family as public institution, being the oral trials a valid hope to rescue the family law of the slow and unsatisfied court decisions.
My hope, as a citizen and attorney, is that the Mexican legal system soon has the capacity to grant security, legality and reliance to a society lacking of justice. Oral trials represent a small step in the changes we have to embrace as a participating community living in a State based on the rule of law.
*Notes on criminal process and constitutional reform in Mexico Today by the Mexican Law Review http://info8.juridicas.unam.mx/pdf/mlawrns/cont/7/nte/nte5.pdf
Atty. Mariana Salas