One of the goals of EWMI’s Strengthening Ecuadorian Justice Project (SEJP) is to improve the application of criminal justice by increasing the effective application of special proceedings and alternative sentencing. EWMI’s first review of the application of alternative sentencing and special proceedings in Quito, Ecuador, completed in September 2010, revealed that one of the main reasons why these mechanisms are not applied by judicial operators is the lack of knowledge and awareness of these tools and their application to criminal conflict resolution.
For this reason, in June 2012, SEJP published a practical guide to strengthen knowledge and promote best practices, “Soluciones Rápidas y Efectivas al Conflicto Penal: Manual para la Aplicación de Procedimientos Especiales y Salidas Alternativas” (Quick and Effective Solutions to Criminal Conflict: A Manual for the Application of Special Proceedings and Alternative Sentencing.) This unique manual was the first of its kind in Ecuador. It is a technical tool that provides judicial operators with the knowledge necessary to apply these procedural mechanisms for solving criminal cases quickly, efficiently, and fairly. The guide also clearly defines each of the roles to be fulfilled by the parties involved: prosecutors, public defenders, judges, victims, defendants and third parties.
The manual’s contribution as a specialized reference source has been recognized by leading judicial authorities in the country. So far, the book has been distributed to judicial operators in Quito and Guayaquil, and in 2013, it will be distributed nationwide. EWMI has also printed an additional 2,000 copies that will be given to criminal law professors and university libraries.