Nicaragua – Institutional Strengthening Project

In the late 1990s, Nicaragua embarked on an ambitious effort to reform and modernize its judicial system. Checchi supported this effort by assisting key justice sector institutions to prepare for and implement the reform legislation, including a criminal procedure code based on oral trials and other elements of the adversarial system. The assistance focused on two objectives: (i) establishing public defense services to promote greater equity in the justice system; and (ii) strengthening the prosecutorial function to ensure more effective criminal investigations and prosecutions. Under the first objective, Checchi worked closely with the Supreme Court to plan and establish a national Public Defender’s Office in Managua, and then successfully expand public defense services. Under the second objective, Checchi strengthened the capacity of the newly-constituted Public Ministry to lead criminal investigations and prosecutions, as well as the capacity of the Attorney General’s Office to prosecute corruption cases.