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  HOME | Uruguay

Uruguay’s Judiciary Is Underfunded, Chief Justice Says

MONTEVIDEO – Uruguay’s judiciary does not have enough resources to fulfill its mission, the new chief justice of the Supreme Court said Thursday as she took office.

Only 1.13 percent of total government spending goes to fund the courts, Elena Martinez said.

Additional funds are needed to “improve overall infrastructure” at the Supreme Court, while the amounts earmarked to meet the costs of implementing a new code of criminal procedure are inadequate, she said.

Challenges for the coming year, according to Martinez, include adopting a new gender violence law that was “approved without the resources necessary for its full application.”

“There are no courts specialized in domestic gender and sexual violence, as the law says,” the chief justice said. “Nor was there provision to change the jurisdiction of existing courts to constitute those mechanisms.”

She counseled against trying to implementing the new law without creating appropriate tribunals.

Martinez, the third woman to preside over Uruguay’s Supreme Court, said that “the implacable force of numbers” will ensure that many more women will sit on the nation’s highest court.

 

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