The turbulent class conflict attendant on Allende's presidential campaign and his Unidad Popular coalition's attempts to create a socialist state spawned efforts to change the traditional judicial system in Chile. Though the UP failed to legislate a nationwide system of neighborhood courts staffed with lay judges, two decentralized courts did emerge. One employed professional judges, who held weekly informal court sessions for poor residents of their jurisdictions; the other was established illegally by a highly organized squatter settlement. Bearing the imprint of Chile's competing ideologies, the two courts were deeply affected by the dramatic events of the Allende years, and their history sheds light on those years. Moreover, the contrasting strategies and processes of the courts provide insights into the general problem of decentralization of urban institutions and the particular problems of urban dispute resolution.
Table of Contents
Westview Replica Editions -- Preface -- Introduction -- Popular Origins of Neighborhood Courts -- Barriers to Courts and Attempted Reforms -- Political Perceptions of the Neighborhood Courts -- Operation of the Local Professional Courts -- Formation of People’s Neighborhood Courts -- Development of People’s Neighborhood Courts -- The Interaction Between Courts, Strategy and Goals, and Residents -- Appendix on Methodology
Jack Spence is assistant professor in the Political Science Department and the Law and Justice Program at the University of Massachusetts-Boston. He received a Ph.D in political science from M.I.T. and a J.D. from Harvard Law School.