Vance Center, FLAM, and AMABOL Launch Assessment of Independence of Bolivia’s Judicial System

March 2023

The Vance Center, in collaboration with the Latin American Federation of Judges (FLAM) and the Association of Judges and Magistrates of Bolivia (AMABOL), this month published an "Assessment of the Independence of the Judicial System in Bolivia."  

The assessment examines issues such as the selection and appointment of magistrates and judges; labor practices including evaluations, promotions, disciplinary processes, and dismissals; physical and legal security; interference in the administration of justice by other branches of government; corruption cases; and concentration of administrative and financial powers. The Vance Center and FLAM produced the assessment, with support from members of the Pro Bono Network of the Americas. 

More than 170 participants joined a webinar presenting the assessment, along with Judge Adriana Orocú, president of FLAM, AMABOL President Grenny Bolling Viruez, and AMABOL judges Gladys Alba, July Dipp, Norka Díaz, and Regina Santa Cruz. In his welcome remarks, Vance Center Latin America Policy Director Jaime Chavez Alor noted that the assessment is part of a project backed by the Tinker Foundation aimed at supporting judicial associations in Latin America and raising awareness within the legal community about challenges for judges in the selected countries, as well as providing concrete, up-to-date information highlighting key issues, and generating productive dialogues with the national and international legal communities. 

The assessment’s findings are already surfacing in regional conversations about judicial safety and independence. In a public hearing on threats to judicial independence in Central and South America during the 186th Period of Sessions of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), Judge Bolling drew attention to the precarious situation of the estimated 40 percent of Bolivian judges working temporarily, leaving them vulnerable to arbitrary removal and challenges due to insufficient resources allocated to the judiciary. 

The assessment is available here.