June 20, 2016

The New Criminal Justice System and Intellectual Property in Mexico

By: Carlos Ledezma and Mario Uribe

Last June 18, Mexico’s new criminal justice system went into effect. The country now has a new system of serving justice in criminal matters. One of most significant changes in Mexican Law in recent years, the innovations integrate principles and components intended to make the criminal justice system in Mexico more fair, equitable and transparent. 

Far from complete, these reforms represent a re envisioning of criminal justice, bringing it closer to the people and eliminating impunity.   

One of the most important changes has been the incorporation of presumption of innocence into our Constitution, a principle which now governs the entire criminal justice system, making the use of preventive custody the exception rather than the norm, as was previously the practice. In consideration of the foregoing, preventive custody can longer be applied to suspects in cases of intellectual property crimes.

It is worth additionally noting that in the new justice system, the District Attorney may order the destruction of the objective sought in the commission of crimes against intellectual property without a judge having to issue a court order to do so.

In addition, solutions for preliminary settlement of disputes have been incorporated into the new criminal system in order to enable proprietary rights holders in intellectual property cases to more easily seek remedies for damages without having to wait until an ordinary criminal proceeding is resolved.

One of the biggest challenges presented by the reform rests on the fact that a large part of the investigative burden in criminal proceedings will be transferred to the Ministerial Police, whose personal have traditionally played a smaller role in investigating crimes.  Therefore, training of police personal continues to be an important element in improving the quality of police work, laying the groundwork for further consolidation of the system moving forward.   

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