Accession Number : ADA510466


Title :   Democratic Governance and the Rule of Law: Lessons from Colombia


Descriptive Note : Monograph


Corporate Author : ARMY WAR COLL STRATEGIC STUDIES INST CARLISLE BARRACKS PA


Personal Author(s) : Marcella, Gabriel


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a510466.pdf


Report Date : Dec 2009


Pagination or Media Count : 51


Abstract : Colombia has experienced conflict for decades. In the 1990s it was a paradigm of the failing state, beset with all manner of troubles: terrorism, kidnapping, murder, drug trafficking, corruption, an economic downturn of major scope, general lawlessness, and brain drain. Today the country is much safer, and the agents of violence are clearly on the defensive. Nonetheless, much work lies ahead to secure the democratic system. Security and the rule of law are fundamental to the task. As the monopoly over the legitimate use of force is established, democratic governance also needs the architecture of law: ministry of justice, courts, legislative scrutiny, law enforcement agencies, regulatory bodies, public defenders, police, correctional system, legal statutes, contracts, university-level academic education to train lawyers, judges, and investigators, along with engagement with civil society to promote a culture of lawfulness. Security without the rule of law puts a society at risk of falling into a Hobbesian hell. This paper explores the impact of revolutionary changes in the administration of law on governance in Colombia. While fighting a long and difficult war against terrorists and narcotics traffickers, Colombia began converting its judicial system from the Roman law-based inquisitorial system to an accusatory system. The United States has assisted with money and advice as part of its overall support program under Plan Colombia. The changes are already showing remarkable results in expediting criminal cases through the courts and in making the legal process more accessible to the people, thereby restoring confidence in the badly battered judicial system. The lessons to be drawn are important for statesmen throughout the world because Colombia may very well be the best ongoing laboratory for democratic state-building.


Descriptors :   *GOVERNMENT(FOREIGN) , *COLOMBIA , *LEGISLATION , *CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM , *DRUG SMUGGLING , *CIVIL AFFAIRS , *DEMOCRACY , TERRORISM , COCAINE , RURAL AREAS , NARCOTICS , PARAMILITARY FORCES , KIDNAPPINGS , SECTARIAN VIOLENCE , POLICE , CONFLICT , MILITARY FORCES(FOREIGN) , LESSONS LEARNED , UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT , CRIMINAL CORRUPTION , FOREIGN POLICY , STABILITY


Subject Categories : Government and Political Science
      Sociology and Law


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE