Foreign Aid:

Efforts to Improve the Judicial System in El Salvador

NSIAD-90-81: Published: May 29, 1990. Publicly Released: May 29, 1990.

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined U.S. and El Salvadoran efforts to improve the judicial system in El Salvador.

GAO found that: (1) the El Salvadoran judicial system was outdated and inconsistent with its current constitution; (2) many judges and others trying to make the system work were undereducated and undertrained; (3) judges were poorly paid, compared to salaries of attorneys in the private sector; (4) the number of public defenders was significantly less than required, which contributed to prisoners remaining in jail without trial for extended periods; (5) investigative and forensic capabilities had improved, but remained limited, forcing police to rely on confessions and eyewitness testimony for evidence; (6) efforts to sustain and build confidence in the judicial system may not materialize unless politically motivated threats, murders, and other crimes are addressed and punished by law; (7) the U.S.-supported Judicial Reform Project has had small success, despite the debilitated condition of the judicial system; (8) investigations included methods and procedures used by U.S. investigative organizations; (9) political interference with the El Salvadoran Commission on Investigation (COI) declined, but the lack of high-level government support was hurting its credibility and authority to conduct investigations; (10) COI lacked the resources to investigate all serious crimes; (11) politics and war have impeded passage of the El Salvadoran Revisory Commission's recommendations; and (12) the United States has been attempting to improve the court systems' human resources, management capabilities, and physical conditions.

Sep 28, 2016

Sep 27, 2016

Sep 22, 2016

Sep 20, 2016

Sep 7, 2016

Aug 31, 2016

Aug 25, 2016

Aug 15, 2016

Looking for more? Browse all our products here