Through Making the System Work: Using Victim Advocacy Clinics and Institutionalized Trainings to Promote Competency and Confidence in Mexican Justice Reforms, a four-year program funded by the U.S. Department of State International Law Enforcement and Narcotics Bureau (INL), ASU supported Mexico’s transition to an adversarial criminal justice model. A key component of the project was Voz de las Víctimas, an innovative framework for establishing sustainable partnerships between in-country educational, governmental and civil society institutions. These partner institutions collaborated on mutually beneficial legal services delivery programs, such as clinics and internships, focused on improving law graduate professionalism while simultaneously increasing the accessibility and quality of legal assistance for vulnerable populations.
As prime implementer, ASU collaborated with Tecnológico de Monterrey (Tec), Mexico’s largest private university, to increase systemwide capacity and quality while building the talent pipeline for victim advocates. ASU faculty trained 141 law professors in clinical pedagogy and lawyering skills, effective teaching of oral advocacy and victim representation. The program opened 10 law clinics on seven Tec campuses that served 467 clients and provided mentorship to more than 100 law student interns supervised by ASU-trained TEC faculty working criminal cases alongside appointed government lawyers and legal aid attorneys serving crime victims. Expert legal consultants, many of whom were current or former prosecutors, collaborated with Tec faculty to train nearly 1,000 Mexican lawyers in oral advocacy.
The availability of oral advocacy trainings facilitated the establishment of relationships between TEC and the system actors, forged mutual understanding and collaboration among diverse actors from different agencies and established the enduring capacity for enhanced experiential legal training at Tec.
Work area: Democracy, rights and governanceGenderLatin America and the Caribbean
Region: Latin America and the Caribbean
Award amount: $2.8 million
Implementing partner(s): Tecnológico de Monterrey