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Mexico: Judicial Reform Enacted

(July 2, 2008) President Felipe Calderón of Mexico signed a decree on June 17, 2008, enacting constitutional amendments reforming the criminal justice and public security systems; the decree was published in the federal official gazette (DIARIO OFICIAL DE LA FEDERACIÓN) on June 18. The reform adopts the adversarial process, with oral trials and simplified trial procedures. The reform establishes the presumption of innocence until the accused is declared guilty by a court, and the accused is also guaranteed legal representation by a public defender when he/she does not appoint another attorney. The decree was enacted three months after the federal congress approved the reform and after it was approved by 19 of the 31 states. (Va Reforma Judicial…¡Por Fin!, REFORMA, June 18, 2008, available at http://www.reforma.com.mx; Decreto por el que se Reforman y Adicionan Diversas Disposiciones de la Constitución Política de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, DIARIO OFICIAL DE LA FEDERACIÓN, June 18, 2008, available at http://www.dof.gob.mx/nota_detalle.php?codigo=5046978&fecha=18/06/2008.)