Originally from Mexico, Dr. Michel has a doctorate in Political Science from the University of Minnesota. Her research interests are victims' rights, criminal procedure reforms, and the Public Prosecutor's Offices in Latin America.
Latin American And Caribbean Politics
Rule Of Law
Access To Justice
My book Prosecutorial Accountability and Victims’ Rights in Latin America (published by Cambridge University Press) looks into how private prosecution works as an accountability mechanism in Chile, Guatemala, and Mexico. Overall this book speaks to issues of legal mobilization, cause lawyering, the interactions between domestic and international law, state capacity, and rule of law.I have specialized in the right to private prosecution and the Public Prosecutor's Office in Latin America. But currently my research agenda also covers the following topics: judicial reform in Latin America, femicide in Latin America, the use of civil (tort) law for human rights litigation, and the emergence of the right to truth.
The responsibility of any state is to protect its citizens. But if a state, either through omission or commission, fails to investigate and prosecute crime then what remedies do citizens have? Verónica Michel investigates procedural rights in Chile, Guatemala, and Mexico that allow citizens to call for the appointment of a private prosecutor to initiate criminal investigations. This right diminishes the monopoly of the state over criminal prosecutions and thus offers citizens a way of insisting on state accountability. This book provides the first full-length empirical study of how the victims' right to private prosecution can impact access to justice in Latin America, and shows how institutional and legal arrangements interact to shape the politics of criminal justice. By examining homicide cases in detail, Michel highlights how everyday legal struggles can help build the rule of law from below.