Jalisco’s lawyers have come out crying foul less than a week before the official start of U.S.-style oral trials in the state.
This week it was revealed that fewer than one percent of the state’s criminal lawyers have received training/certification enabling them to participate in open court hearings, where prosecutors and defense attorneys present their cases before a judge.
The oversight could threaten the legitimacy of the trials, which are scheduled to begin in the municipality of Zapotlán El Grande (Ciudad Guzman) on Wednesday, October 1.
While decorators battled around the clock to finish the two courtrooms in Ciudad Guzman this week, José Luis Tello, president of the Jalisco Lawyers College, questioned the methodology by which federal resources have been allocated to train personnel in Jalisco to work in the new justice system.
At a press conference, Tello said Jalisco had received 900 million pesos (67 million dollars) from the federation to set up the oral trial system. Funds covered the training of nine judges, who took more than four years to receive their certification, as well as other employees of the judiciary who will serve as administrators. However, only 30 defense lawyers have obtained official certification so far.