Judicial Branch

The Judiciary administers justice independently from the other branches of government. The highest Court is the Supreme Court, made up of 21 members, one of whom is elected president by his peers every three years. In addition, there are appellate, civil and military courts.

The year 2000 saw the initiation of a far-reaching Reform to the System of Justice, wich had not been structurally modified since the mid-19th century.

The most significant transformations involve the criminal courts. In the past, judges were responsible for investigating as well as handing down rulings. The Reform has created the Office of the Prosecutor, an autonomous body (independent of the three branches of State) dedicated to public criminal prosecution. Its attorneys will have the power to investigate crimes, direct and coordinate the various police forces in the investigation process, and to prepare and serve indictments before the criminal courts when necessary.

The web site for finding out information about the Judicial Branch iswww.poderjudicial.cl