From Luis Alfonso Navarrete,
October 17, 2012
I am proud to be a University of Minnesota Law School LL.M. graduate. During my studies in Minnesota, I had the privilege of attending classes and lectures led by well-known, respected legal theorists and scholars. The Law School's professors, students, and pretty much all Minnesotans were welcoming and kind to me and my fellow students in the LL.M. program. I also formed many friendships that continue today.
Since returning to Mexico at the end of 2011, I have been focusing on Mexican constitutional law, public policy, and politics, in collaboration with a local law firm. I spend a great deal of time doing research, data analysis, and independent consulting, and I have written several articles on issues concerning legal theory. (My latest piece, published in Problema, the National Autonomous University of Mexico's journal of jurisprudence, had to do with conceptual analysis and theoretical methodology.)
As a result of my activities, I have become more interested in ways of achieving peace in my home country of Mexico. Beyond the national war against organized crime and drug cartels, which has caused horrible suffering in some regions of the country, there are certain aspects of Mexican public policy that need to change, such as education, which is poor, and the tax system, which denies the possibility of saving.
Mexico's legal and constitutional systems are passing through a stage of radical change because of the recent introduction of the principle of orality and because trials are now open to the public. In addition, local judges are now obligated to interpret and apply constitutional provisions in cases under their jurisdiction. (Previously, federal and Supreme Court judges were the exclusive interpreters of the Constitution.) This change means that not only lawyers and judges will need to change their structures of legal reasoning, but also district attorneys, the police, and other actors in the legal process.
As for my current situation, I recently established and am directing an independent research institution, Instituto para la Reconstrucción Social de México (IRES), for the study of society, law, and public policy. When we think about and discuss improving Mexican society, we approach the question from a variety of different perspectives. We take into account constitutional law, politics, microeconomics, and opinion analysis. I must emphasize that I apply most of what I learned during my studies at the University of Minnesota Law School in seminars taught by Professors Brian Bix, Francesco Parisi, and Michael Tonry (among others).
In the very near future, after the team is consolidated, the defense of constitutional and civil liberties through federal constitutional processes will be part of our daily activities.