Professor Angela Cornell, director of the Labor Law Clinic, recently returned from a week of talks in Mexico at the request of the U.S. Embassy. She was asked to speak on labor law and alternative dispute resolution. Her presentations primarily focused on the practice of dispute resolution in the labor context in the United States and international labor norms. The legal system in Mexico is undergoing a major transformation from an inquisitorial to an oral adversarial model, but it will not include a jury system. She described the oral process used in the United States and some of its advantages.
The talks began in Guadalajara, Mexico’s second-largest city. She spoke at the Pan American University and at an event organized by the State Labor Secretariat, which included in the audience representatives from the Board of Arbitration and Conciliation and other labor law administrators, lawyers, students, and judges. On day two, she flew to Mexico City where she spoke to law students and professors at a university and think tank. At the invitation of Judge Guillermo Campos Osorio, the director-general of the National Association of Appellate Judges and District Judges of the Mexican Supreme Court, she addressed the Council of the Federal Judiciary (Consejo de la Judicatura Federal).
The next two days were spent participating in an International Seminar on Social Dialogue and Labor Negotiation organized by the Board of Conciliation and Arbitration of Mexico City, where Cornell gave presentations on Collective Negotiation and the Power of Social Dialogue and the Private Dispute Resolution Process in the United States and the Role of an Arbitrator in the Resolution of Labor Disputes. “The conference provided a great opportunity to interact with Mexican labor lawyers, administrators, and professors to share best practices in the United States,” says Cornell. “It also gave me a chance to learn more about the Mexican system and the dramatic changes that are taking place there in the justice system.”
Below is an excerpt taken from an article that appeared in Jalisco, translated to English.
” The Secretary of Labor and Social Security in coordination with the U.S. Consulate organized a talk entitled “Alternative Dispute Resolution in the Labor Context” by Professor Angela Cornell. The head of the Division of Labor and Social Security from the Mexican State of Jalisco, Eduardo Almaguer Ramírez, said that this type of exchange of information with a country like the United States contributes in a beneficial way to the implementation of new legal systems in the Jalisco and will have a positive impact on the application of the law. The Consul General of the United States, Susan Abeyta, was also in attendance at the event. ”
The excerpt below was taken from Tribuna and translated to English:
“The article discusses Mexico’s transition to an oral justice system from the current written, inquisitorial model and the use of alternative dispute resolution to expedite cases. Professor Cornell commented that in the United States, alternative dispute resolution is a fast and efficient system that can avoid the delays of trials.
“One very positive aspect of the oral system is its transparency . . . both parties can see the evidence that is presented, nothing is obscured. With this process comes credibility because both sides can see and confront the presentation of evidence.”