LSAT PrepTest 11 by LSAC

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A second consequence of this organic independence was that this self-integration process alienated judges from the social reality of the country. Both these factors made the judiciary inaccessible to the people and lacking in legitimacy, a situation in fact that resembled that of the colonial and post-colonial periods. The second problem arose from the fact that this organic independence gave the district tribunal magistrates – themselves appointed by the magistrates of the high courts – the power to select all judges, with no requirements stipulated other than their own personal criteria.

Political parties exist and compete but they do not harbour the popular demands and anxieties of some sectors of society and, in some cases, they overrepresent others. There are formal checks and balances, but many are inefficient. Finally, state accountability is still weak. 5 The mainstream literature converges in its view on four of the main characteristics that define the character of the Colombian political system and how it functions. These four characteristics are based on the idea that although Colombian society has transformed and modernised The Political Background 5 itself very rapidly since the 1950s, the institutional apparatus of the state has remained weak.

22 Some of these self-defence organisations began as legal entities. Their legality was first established in 1966 under the Guillermo Valencia administration, but they were later banned in 1989, legalised again in 1994 and banned once more in 1997. Their coexistence with illegal paramilitary organisations has called even further into question the state’s capacity to hold the monopoly in terms of The Political Background 9 enforcement. This trend, which is characteristic of countries at war, is partly the result of the political power of the armed actors in Colombia.

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