With the growing interdependence of the United States of America and United States of Mexico it is important that the practitioner and future lawyers have a basic understanding of the criminal process in Mexico and how it compares with the USA process. At this moment Mexican criminal procedure is in the process of changing and is thought by many scholars to be the most profound change in the concept of justice to occur in Mexico since the enactment of the 1917 Constitution. For this reason it is appropriate at this time to compare and discuss the two criminal processes.
The course is designed to assist the practitioner or future lawyer to be prepared to advise a client as to the basic nature of Mexican criminal procedure and the justice system and:
Assist in the preparation of a defense
Evaluate the advice and strategy of local Mexican counsel
Assist clients in avoiding potential pitfalls when doing business in or living in Mexico
Assist in selection of counsel
Provide general advice in Mexican criminal matters
For prosecutors the course offers an overview of institutional settings, who is who in the Mexican criminal justice system, how to secure cooperation in investigations and the basics of foreign prosecutions as versus extradition. We will also consider the available options in securing the return of U.S. Citizens charged with a crime, prisoner exchange and the like.
In order to prepare lawyers and students to meet the above objectives the following areas will be the principal focus of the course:
Historical development of the two criminal systems and the major historical differences.
The definitions of criminal conduct in Mexico and the USA.
The concepts of guilt and innocence in Mexico with a comparison to the USA concept.
Defenses in criminal prosecution in Mexico.
Theories of punishment and sentencing in Mexico with a comparison to USA sentencing.
An examination of the criminal process in Mexico with a comparison to the USA criminal process.
The function of amparo in the Mexican criminal process.
The future impact of oral trials in Mexico.
The Mexican State criminal process and the Mexican Federal criminal process.
Extradition and the return of USA citizens accused of crimes from Mexico and the extradition and return of Mexican citizens accused of crimes the USA.
Article four prosecutions in Mexico.
Parental kidnapping and the Mexican law.
Firearms crimes in Mexico.
The International Criminal Court and its relation to Mexican Criminal law.
This course will stress the practical use of the information presented. It will be taught by Profs. William MacPherson and Tim Cornish. Subject to available funds and scheduling, local speakers, Mexican law professors and Mexican lawyers who are experts in the various topics will also participate in class presentations and discussions.
If you would have questions or would like to discuss this interesting and timely course, please contact Prof. MacPherson.