Verified information for judges preventing unjust pretrial detention

26 October 2012

Reforming Mexico’s criminal justice system, establishing presumption of innocence allowing options for pretrial release.

Mexico’s criminal justice system is currently immersed in a historic reform, considered being the most important in the field since the approval of the Federal Constitution of 1917. In compliance with international standards, the Federal Legislators approved two major constitutional reforms, one in 2005 mandating the creation of a specialised criminal justice system for juveniles and the other in June 2008 to establish the accusatorial justice system replacing the written-inquisitorial model.

This historic reform was initiated by several states prior to the constitutional reform of 2008, one of them being the state of Morelos, which took the lead in approving new codes of criminal procedure centered on the presumption of innocence.

Due to the presumption of innocence, the new system allows for the existence of alternatives to pretrial detention establishing a series of options for pretrial release. The Presumption of Innocence Project began to work in Morelos after realising that the approval of the new code did not contemplate the administrative units to manage the new pretrial release regime.

Six successful innovations and six innovative ideas were nominated for the 2012 Innovating Justice Awards held on 2 November 2012. We feature them in a series of insights on the HiiL website.

Read about this original innovation on the Innovating Justice website.