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Cablegate: Costa Rica's Judicial School Requests Curriculum Development

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHSJ #1086 3371739
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 031737Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0089
INFO RHMFIUU/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHSJ/AMEMBASSY SAN JOSE

UNCLAS SAN JOSE 001086

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CJAN SNAR KIPR PGOV PREL CS
SUBJECT: Costa Rica's Judicial School Requests Curriculum Development
Assistance

1. The director of Costa Rica's Judicial School, Marvin Carvajal,
contacted Post on November 19 to request USG assistance in
developing new curriculum for its year-long training for new
judges. The USG's top priority in Costa Rica is helping the
government improve public security, which is negatively impacted by
large backlogs in the judicial caseload and, at times, poor
interpretation of the law. Better training for judges could help
improve their performance, which would have a positive impact on
public security in the country. We recommend that the USG respond
affirmatively to this request.

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A NEW APPROACH TO TEACHING

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2. Carvajal stated that he would like to make greater use of the
case study method, but Costa Rica does not have any books of case
studies or anyone with experience in writing them. He told us that
he and his team of judges and Judicial School employees plan to
begin writing the case study texts in January 2010 with the goal of
using them within a year. He would like expert advice and guidance
before and during the writing process.

3. We assess Costa Rica's Judicial School to be a competent
professional organization with significant human resources at its
disposal and considerable influence within the judiciary. Carvajal
has coordinated very effectively with Post in the past.

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COMMENT

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4. Post recommends that the USG take advantage of this opportunity
to not only strengthen the Costa Rican judiciary in general but
also to address the training issues of concern to the USG.
Ideally, U.S. consultants would work closely with the Judicial
School to produce a series of case study books on issues including
courtroom procedures, intellectual property rights,
expropriation/confiscation of goods, organized crime, human
trafficking and narcotics. If it is not possible to provide
consultants in country, Carvajal suggested the possibility of DVCs
with U.S. case study book editors/writers.

5. Post urges relevant bureaus (ECA, INL, and WHA) and the
Department of Justice-OPDAT to discuss what USG resources might be
directed to support this project. From our initial analysis, we
believe that support for this initiative would have a low cost yet
significant impact.
BRENNAN

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