Chile · 16 October, 2018

Supporting judicial reform processes in Chile

The EUROsociAL+ Programme accompanies the Chilean Ministry of Justice and Human Rights in the components of neighbourhood and community justice, restorative justice and in improving prison health management

The European Union, through the EUROsociAL+ Programme, is working closely with the Chilean Ministry of Justice and Human Rights to improve public justice policy in the Andean country. This cooperation is bringing about substantial improvements in restorative justice, neighbourhood and community justice and prison health management, as was evident at the last meeting with the Minister of Justice and Human Rights, Hernán Larraín.

The Chilean Ministry of Justice and Human Rights is carrying out a project to implement substantial improvements to Law 20.084, which establishes a system of responsibility for adolescents who breach criminal law and the creation of a new Specialised Juvenile Social Reintegration Service which will replace the current National Service for Minors (SENAME). This proposal for a new institutional framework includes a restorative justicecomponent that in the future will become a National Juvenile Criminal Mediation Programme. In this context, the Ministry has been accompanied during 2018 in undertaking a situation diagnosis and review of the bill that establishes the system of responsibility for adolescents for breaches of criminal law (legislation in process), as well as an exchange between Spain and Belgium to learn about good European practices in restorative justice. Given the positive progress achieved, EUROsociAL will continue to support this action in a second phase in 2019.

Another of the key reforms that the Ministry of Justice is addressing is the civil procedural reform, with the aim of bringing justice closer to citizens with more public and transparent processes that resolve conflicts in a shorter time. A new Civil Procedure Code is therefore currently in the legislative process in the Senate. Some novel initiatives are foreseen within this new body of regulations, such as the incorporation of neighbourhood and community justice and alternative conflict resolution methods. EUROsociAL is accompanying the Ministry as part of this project in designing new mechanisms for managing neighbourhood or community conflicts, prioritising the creation of a new local justice.

Finally, the Ministry is being accompanied in the definition of a new model of prison health management. This action is part of the framework collaboration agreement signed between the Ministries of Health and Justice and Human Rights, the Chilean Police, Health Authority and the National Health Fund aimed at improving coordination between the Health and Justice sectors, in order to progressively improve prison health conditions and the general health conditions of the population deprived of freedom. This action is aimed at designing and subsequently implementing a new health care management model for the inmate population, with a more inclusive and equitable view based on the consideration of inmates as individuals with rights.

These actions are carried out from the Democratic Governance area of ​​the EUROsociAL+ Programme coordinated by the FIIAPP.

Área de políticas de gobernanza democrática. Democratic governance area / EUROsociAL+

Country: Chile
SDG: Peace, justice and strong institutions
Policy area: Democratic governance policies