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3 - Twelve Years of Mixed Tribunals in Argentina

from Part I - Advances in Lay Participation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  03 August 2021

Sanja Kutnjak Ivković
Michigan State University
Shari Seidman Diamond
Northwestern University, Illinois
Valerie P. Hans
Cornell University, New York
Nancy S. Marder
Chicago-Kent College of Law
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Now that Córdoba has had more than a decade of experience with lay participation in criminal trials, it offers the opportunity to analyze whether the institution of mixed tribunals has fulfilled the expectations held by those who promoted this innovation. This review of the Córdoba experience with mixed tribunals summarizes the main findings of a research program initiated in 2008. It is focused on three issues: the differences between jury and judge decisions and the actual levels of lay participation obtained when judges and juries sit and deliberate together; the tensions between the approaches of professional judges and the social demand for penal harshness associated with fear of crime; and the contribution of lay participation in the courts toward legitimizing the judiciary, a key issue in a society where trust in the justice system has been chronically low. Data sources are varied and include a set of 445 verdicts reached between 2005 and 2017, as well as interviews with judges, judicial clerks, lawyers, and jurors. Data from two public opinion surveys, conducted in 1993 and 2011, were also used to assess the effects of lay participation on the legitimacy of the judiciary.

Juries, Lay Judges, and Mixed Courts
A Global Perspective
, pp. 47 - 68
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

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