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Campaigning to eradicate court delay: power shifts and new governance in criminal justice in Argentina

Crime, Law and Social Change

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Since the transition to democracy court delay has been a powerful signifier of the problem of the criminal justice in Argentina. This has been the case particularly in the Province of Buenos Aires where court delay was constantly projected by the Provincial Government’s narrative as evidence of injustice and/or inefficiency in the system. It has been the focus of sustained political attacks upon judges, defence lawyers and public prosecutors by members of the national and provincial parliaments of Argentina. These narratives of court delay have enabled a number of reforms of the criminal justice system which have reshaped organisational practices to the extent of constituting a new and different strategy of producing justice. This article identifies, describes and makes sense of those discourses and practices, and the strategies and tactics behind them by analysing the governmental narrative and the judicial and organisational reforms.