Professor Jimmy Gurulè recently returned from a 10-day trip to the developing country of Belize, which borders Guatemala and Mexico off the coast of the Caribbean Sea. Belize currently has one of the highest murder rates in the world, right behind Colombia and South Africa. Professor Gurulé was retained for travel to Belize on behalf of the American Bar Association (ABA) Rule of Law Initiative (ROLI), which seeks to examine the status and role of prosecutors within the legal systems of emerging democracies or transitioning states.
Utilizing the ABA ROLI Prosecutorial Reform Index (PRI) and its 28 standards of assessment, Professor Gurulé met with over 25 key stakeholders, including prosecutors, defense lawyers, supreme court judges, magistrates, media representatives, leaders of nongovernmental organizations, U.S. Embassy officers, and such high level government officials as the Minister of Police and Public Safety, Solicitor General, and Police Commissioner to discuss needed reforms to enhance the prosecutorial system in Belize. Drawing upon these interviews, Professor Gurulé has been asked to draft a report evaluating the prosecution system against the 28 standards contained within the PRI. Adhering to the rigorous process of evaluation, Professor Gurulé will pay particular attention to the Belize Constitution, laws, normative acts, and other sources of authority that currently serve the prosecutorial system of Belize. He will return in July to present his analysis and suggestions for prosecutorial reform to the government leaders of Belize.