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Our Court

This court has original jurisdiction within the Criminal, Misdemeanor and Infractions Division of the Judicial Branch of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.

We handle criminal and misdemeanor cases, particularly regarding requests made during the investigation stage, while also conducting trial and sentencing hearings. We also handle inmate's requests while they serve their sentence.

Regarding infractions cases (violations of city ordinances), our court handles cases that involve the review of administrative sanctions, at the behest of the defendant.

The Criminal, Misdemeanor and Infractions Division is made up of 31 Courts, each presided by one judge, and an Appeals Court, divided in three chambers. It is also made up of: 


Jurisdiction

Our Court has jurisdiction in Criminal, Misdemeanor and Infractions matters in the City of Buenos Aires.

We apply the following laws:

  • Criminal Code
  • Criminal Procedure Code
  • Misdemeanor Code
  • Misdemeanor Procedure Code
  • Infractions Code 
  • Infractions Procedures Code

Open Justice

The Open Justice framework sets a series of guidelines for public sector management that are directed specifically to the judiciary, redefining the relationship between the Judicial Branch and society, based on the principles of transparency, participation and collaboration, in order to guarantee due process of law, to promote peaceful societies and to strengthen democratic ideals.

Open Justice policies aim to bring the justice system closer to the public, providing the different organizations with the necessary tools to deal with the challenges of the XXI century and adding value to the different mandates they carry out, with the user as the main focus of those services.

We implement this principles to our work in order to bride de gap with the citizens and thereby reduce mistrust levels that they have regarding the Judicial Branch.

Our work focuses on adopting the principles of Open Government and apply them to our daily procedures, using tools based on the principles of transparency, participation, and innovation.

Transparency

Transparency is one of the essential pillars of democratic societies. We believe the Judiciary, as a fundamental part of the republican form of government, must work as a transparent organization. For this reason, we decided to make available to the public all the documents that register the court's decisions, on an open format, and to communicate our official activities through social media.

  • Statistical reports

According to our continuous improvement policy and to provide answers to citizen's inquiries, we ensure accountability by publicizing our data:

  • Plain Language

All of the court's decisions are delivered in clear, direct and accessible language, so that members of the public that deal with the justice system can understand what is being communicated to them.

We also developed a Plain Language Handbook, which is available to the public:

  • Social networks

The best way of fostering citizen participation is by bridging the gap between the judicial system and the general public. To achieve this goal, we broadened our communication channels to reach a wider audience. Specifically, we created Twitter and Instagram accounts: @jpcyf13

On those accounts we publish the Court's work in real-time and in a dynamic manner.

We post periodically the following information:

- Weekly hearing schedule.

- Duty Court periods.

- Continuing education and on-job training programs.

Participation

  • "Open Court" initiative

"Open Court" is a regular initiative by which we invite students from different universities to visit the Court and see our daily work. The aim of this project is to collaborate with the education of future law professionals and to provide an open environment where members of the community can interact with the judicial system.

  • Opinion Surveys

We develop and implement an anonymous and voluntary survey to assess the quality of our service and to get user feedback on possible areas of improvement. In this way, we are able to gather information about the users' experience with the judicial system, both from citizens and officers of the court (prosecutors, public defenders, attorneys).

  • Jury trials

Jury trials represent a type of criminal proceeding in which a pool of ordinary citizens makes findings of fact regarding a case, which is established in the National Constitution and on the Constitution of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. Our Court participates in numerous iniciatives directed at fostering the implementation of jury trials in criminal proceedings of local jurisdiction, per the Constitutional requirement.

Innovation

  • Artificial Intelligence

We developed and implemented an artificial intelligence (AI) tool to help with data anonymization of our public information, with the objective of providing data privacy protection to the people involved in the cases that are processed at our court. In this way, we comply with transparency guidelines embedded in the open justice principle while we optimize our internal work processes, all of which guarantees an simple access to the Courts decisions.

  • Agile methodologies

We focus on the implementation of agile methodologies on Open Justice projects.

Our objective is to move towards management innovation and justice optimization initiatives, in order to achieve greater levels of agility in our work flow, efficiency in our procedures and to diminish the duration of a case in the Court's docket.

Since It is necessary that we take on the responsibility of implementing new organizational paradigms, we are continuously participating in different training programs that enable us to develop our management abilities.

  • Public service announcements

We publish educational videos entirely made by the Court's staff to explain about some legal or procedural concepts regarding certain subjects that are related to our duties.

  • WhatsApp Notices

We incorporated WhatsApp as a tool to deliver court notices. Before hearings, we send the subpoenaed party a reminder through this application to appear before Court. This app, which is not widely used within the judiciary, provides our Court with a more practical an effective method of communication with the person to whom the notice is served. It also eases the workload of other organizations in charge of tasks related to service of process procedures.

In this way, we establish direct contact with the involved parties. As a result, we obtained further attendance at hearings and greater procedural effectiveness since the processes have become more agile, dynamic, and less bureaucratic. At the same time, the hearings' rescheduling index significantly decreased.

  • Hearings via videoconference

We implemented this system to conduct hearings when parties can not personally appear before the court. This method is also used to interview inmates while they are serving their sentences at correctional facilities and to carry out depositions of underage witnesses via Gesell Dome installations.

This system permits us to:

- Reduce time spent on hearings.

- Improve the number of hearings that can be scheduled each day.

- Generate a more effective dynamic during hearings.

- Optimize public resources.

  • Digital records of hearings

    We record all of the Court's hearings in digital video files. Once the upload of those files is finished, they are shared with each party that was present at the hearing, using a link to our cloud storage. This system entails time-saving benefits to the parties who no longer need to wait for the written record of the decision, either to sign it or to access to that record.

    • We introduced a QR code to the traditional notice form that permits instant access the Court's seat and contact information.
    • We use electronic notice systems to inform the parties about relevant procedural acts.
    • We incorporated digital signature systems to verify the authenticity of all the Courts records and documents.
    • We work with the electronic case file system provided by the Judicial Council.
    • We use our social networks as supplementary means for publishing general notices ("Edictos") in the Official Gazette.

    Open Data

    The term Open Data refers to a global initiative drawn from the Open Government framework, which makes possible a better understanding of state agencies' work, and also to foster accountability and greater civil society participation.

    Our Court has adopted the principles that characterize this initiative, so we make available to the public all of the Court's decisions so that any person can search that dataset, consult our records and share them.

    Our data can be accessed through the following sections:

    - Dataset or data repository on which the information of every decision is organized in a simple way, were each column and row of the table represents a particular variable of analysis of those records.

    - Decisions This is a database that contains open access files for each decision handed by the Court.


    Who we are

    Criminal, Misdemeanors and Infractions Court N°13 of the City of Buenos Aires

    M. Lorena Tula del Moral (Judge)

    Paula Nuñez Gelvez (Law Clerk)

    Tomás Manfrino (Law Clerk)

    Agustín Mogni (Deputy Law Clerk)

    Luz María Scelzi (Deputy Law Clerk)

    Manuel Gallo (Deputy Law Clerk)

    Florencia Oreiro (Court Clerk)

    María Martha Fernández (Court Clerk) 

    Noelia Victoria Mitelli (Court Official)

    Erica Rosolen (Private Secretary)

    María Agustina Alvarez Alanis (Court Official)

    Lucia Fabrizzi (Administrative Assistant)