Despite doubling of staff Costa Ricas judicial branch resolves far fewer cases

first_imgThe number of cases resolved by Costa Rican courts has declined precipitously over the past 13 years despite a doubling of judicial staff over the same time period, according to a new report from Costa Rica’sState of the Nation Program.The “State of Justice” report also found that resolution of legal complaints is increasingly expensive for the country, in part becuase of the justice system’s large number of employees.Per capita, the judicial branch has doubled its staff since 2000, from 120 employees for every 100,000 citizens to 238 employees for every 100,000 in 2013. This increase, however, did not translate into greater efficiency in terms of the number of cases prosecuted, the report found.In fact, the justice system may be much less efficient now than it was at the start of the millenium.In 2000, a total of 841 cases were resolved by a single court, meaning they ended without any appeals to higher courts. But that number dropped to 486 by 2013, according to the report.Costa Rican judges issued an average of 958 sentences in 2000, but by 2012 that figure was just 143.Also, the justice system began promoting alternative dispute resolution in 2000, but these mechanisms were only used in 1.3 percent of cases evaluated in the report.The report was the first time the State of the Nation Program has evaluated the country’s justice system. The program is a collaboration between Costa Rica’s public universities and the government ombudsman’s office.Supreme Court President Zarela Villanueva said justices acknowledge the “weakness in efficiency” highlighted by the report. But she said the increase in staff is justified by the growth of services offered, as well as new departments and facilities created in recent years to provide citizens with more effective service.The report also highlighted the large number of legal complaints that never make it to court. That can be a good sign, State of Justice coordinator Evelyn Villareal explained.In 2013 judicial offices received nearly 600,000 complaints, of which 65 percent were dismissed or archived, meaning they did not end in a trial or final ruling. In one of every three cases, a judge dismissed a complaint for lack of merit.Of all criminal complaints filed in 2013, 32 percent were archived by the prosecution, meaning they couldn’t attribute a crime to any suspect. Another one-third of complaints were rejected because of weak evidence.Only 15 percent of criminal complaints ended in a sentence, of which 8.7 percent resulted in conviction while the remaining 6.5 percent resulted in acquittal.Villareal conceeded that the report didn’t reflect the full reality of Costa Rica’s justice system. (But) “it is a starting point for research in areas not previously investigated in the country,” she said.The study is available on State of the Nation’s website (in Spanish). Facebook Comments Related posts:Legislative hearing on Supreme Court justice facing rape charges delayed until next week Supreme Court re-elects Jorge Chavarría as Costa Rica’s chief prosecutor despite protests No prison sentences for petty theft, lawmakers propose Costa Ricans report increasing safety concerns; 2016 is set to become most violent year on recordlast_img read more

University of Washington computer scientists and e

first_imgUniversity of Washington computer scientists and electrical engineers created a Passive Wi-Fi system that demonstrates how it’s possible to generate Wi-Fi transmissions using 10,000x less power than other Wi-Fi chipsets, and 1,000x less power than Bluetooth Low Energy and ZigBee.“Passive Wi-Fi transmissions can be decoded on off-the-shelf smartphones and Wi-Fi chipsets over distances of 30 to 100 feet in various line-of-sight and through-the-wall scenarios,” according to the student researchers in an online paper.This system aims to enable an Internet of Things environment, where users can have their devices and sensors communicate over Wi-Fi while using as little power as possible. The system is now being used by Jeeva Wireless, a provider of low-power communications solutions.The researchers are expected to present the results of their work in March at the USENIX Symposium on SDN Research. Open-source compliance e-book availableThe Linux Foundation wants to help organizations use best practices for open-source code in products and services, so it is making one of its e-books available for free.The 149-page e-book is written by Ibrahim Haddad, vice president of R&D and head of the Open Source Group at Samsung. He explores how organizations can use best practices in the open-source community, and teaches organizations how to participate in open-source communities in a legal and responsible way. Readers will also learn how to structure an open-source-management program, and how to set up an open-source compliance strategy.The e-book can be downloaded here.Rails highlights the latest features, updatesRuby on Rails recently announced that jQuery is no longer a dependency of Rails, since Rails JavaScript helpers have been rewritten in a “new gem” called rails-ujs. Now helpers use Vanilla JavaScript, which makes jQuery no longer a dependency. Also, Ruby on Rails announced that the first release candidate for 5.0.1 has been released, with no issues found.The new features in this first release candidate include Yarn support, where developers can “pass the –yarn option when you generate a new Rails app, and Rails will create the necessary config files and run Yarn install after bundle installs automatically,” according to a blog post by Rails developers Greg Molnar and Prathamesh Sonpatki.last_img read more