Skip to main content

Going Virtual: Increasing Access to Justice in Latin America

Date & Time

Oct. 26, 2020
9:30am – 10:30am
This event will be webcast live

Going Virtual: Increasing Access to Justice in Latin America


COVID-19 has disrupted access to justice throughout Latin America. Family courts, criminal courts and bankruptcy courts stalled for months, leaving litigants and defendants in limbo. Even before the pandemic, the region’s courts were overburdened by heavy backlogs that assured uneven justice. In criminal cases, suspects often spent years in pre-trial confinement. Civil disputes were difficult to settle too, undermining the rule of law and damaging the investment climate. The pandemic worsened these trends, with hearings delayed by social distancing measures resulting in even longer delays.

Fortunately, new technologies – including virtual platforms for hearings and trials, evidence and case management and artificial intelligence for judicial research and administration – offer potential solutions to coronavirus challenges, and an opportunity to address chronic problems in Latin America’s justice systems. Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador, for example, have successfully implemented virtual pre-trial hearings for detainees. In Colombia, artificial intelligence is used for bureaucratic tasks and to speed up the paperwork for judicial decisions. Through simple solutions such as electronic notifications, the Constitutional Court of Guatemala is increasing access to justice by citizens in the most remote parts of the country.

Please join the Wilson Center’s Latin American Program on October 26 from 9:30am-10:30am EST as we host leading experts to discuss the potential use of digital justice tools during and after the pandemic. Our co-sponsors include the University of Buenos Aires Law School’s Laboratorio de Inovación, and the Instituto Federal de Innovación, Tecnología y Justicia . 

*This discussion will take place in Spanish.

Hosted By

Latin American Program

The Wilson Center’s prestigious Latin American Program provides non-partisan expertise to a broad community of decision makers in the United States and Latin America on critical policy issues facing the Hemisphere. The Program provides insightful and actionable research for policymakers, private sector leaders, journalists, and public intellectuals in the United States and Latin America. To bridge the gap between scholarship and policy action, it fosters new inquiry, sponsors high-level public and private meetings among multiple stakeholders, and explores policy options to improve outcomes for citizens throughout the Americas. Drawing on the Wilson Center’s strength as the nation’s key non-partisan forum, the Program serves as a trusted source of analysis and a vital point of contact between the worlds of scholarship and action.  Read more

Argentina Project

The Argentina Project of the Latin American Program, aspires to be the premiere institution for policy-relevant research on the political and economic reforms underway in Argentina. The project will be a valuable resource for senior officials in the U.S. and Argentine governments, lawmakers, investors, diplomats, and journalists.  Read more