In the years leading up to and following the end of the Cold War, the U.S. government embarked on a new legal transplant project, carried out through the foreign promotion of U.S. criminal justice techniques, criminal procedures, and transnational crime priorities. U.S. prosecutors and police-posted across Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East-have sought to advance democracy and development, as well as to control crime, by reforming foreign criminal justice institutions with reference to U.S. models. In the view of some, this amounts to legal imperialism: an "open and declared imposition on the part of foreign powers." Others maintain that "the core of democracy is the Rule of Law, and the [U.S. Justice Department's] Criminal Division is its greatest ambassador." Alternately celebrated and condemned, U.S. efforts are associated with a "revolution in Latin American criminal procedure," the introduction of plea bargaining in Russia, a new rights-protective criminal procedure code in Indonesia, prison construction in Mexico, and new transnational crime statutes in states across the globe." This Article explores the complex implications of this emerging field of transnational criminal law.

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