Category: About the WJA

Opening Session Barcelona: Will the Rule of Law Survive in Europe?

The World Law Congress started its 27th edition with an innovative format that includes the celebration of 14 online opening sessions, as prelude to the most important international legal event. These monthly opening sessions will take place from different cities around the world. The first one, «Will the Rule of Law Survive in Europe?», was organized by María Eugenia Gay, WJA President for Spain and Dean of the Barcelona Bar Association, institution that virtually hosted the event celebrated on July 7, 2020. The Panel followed the institutional ceremony (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJrToSZOrdo&t=136s) that inaugurated this On-Going Congress that will culminate with face-to-face panels in Cartagena de Indias, on November 17 and 18, 2021. 

Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the World Law Foundation and former vice-president of the European Commission, chaired the debate. It focused on giving an answer to what can be done when national constitutions, European treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU are questioned. In this respect, Reding remarked that «even in a solid constitutional environment, the rule of law is not free from risk, (…) in Europe we have to stand up to protect our values». She also expressed concern about «the challenges to the rule of law in some European countries, such as Poland and Hungary, where they are dismantling fundamental aspects such as the independence of judges and the freedom of expression of the media».

Rainer Arnold, member of the Advisory Council of the World Law Foundation and professor at the University of Regensburg, stressed that «the rule of law is anthropocentric; it recognizes and emphasizes that the ultimate purpose of law and constitutional law is to protect individuals, taking into account that the constitution must be based on the recognition of human dignity as a supreme value and its twin principle, which is freedom». He added that «the rule of law is always linked to democracy as an essential element of people’s freedom, to jointly determine policy, decisions affecting our lives and destinies through daily participation in politics». 

François Biltgen, judge of the European Court of Justice and Luxembourgish former politician who served in different ministries, defined the European Union as «founded on the values of democracy, the rule of law, freedom, human dignity and respect for human rights, including those of minorities». He further recognized that, when conflicts occur, «the primacy is of the European Union, both in the application and in the interpretation of the law, which improves unity by giving more legal stability and strengthening the union of member states».

André Alen, President of the Constitutional Court of Belgium, said that the Court of Justice «is the guardian of the European treaties» and added that there is a significant interaction between courts; «European courts and national constitutional courts are not opponents, but should be considered as natural allies when it comes to protecting fundamental rights». Despite this, he stressed that the relationship between the Court of Justice and the constitutional courts is not free of friction and, although they are limited, priority should always be given to the one that protects rights the most». 

Polish Prime Minister (1992-1993) Hanna Suchocka, also Founding Trustee of the World Law Foundation, stressed the necessity to «deepen and discuss the relationship between EU legislation, national legislations and, especially, the relationship between two institutions such as the European Court of Justice and national courts». She said that «we need a more in-depth discussion of this issue because otherwise it could lead to a reduction in the standards of the European rule of law». 

The panel was closed by Marie-Aimée Peyron, dean of the Paris Bar Association (2017-2019), who criticized that «when a political power wants to attack democracy or the rule of law, above all, it first attacks lawyers, journalists or judges, among others, and we know, unfortunately, that this does not only happen outside Europe, but also in some European countries».

The President of Colombia, Iván Duque, opened the World Law Congress 2021

The President of Colombia, Iván Duque, chaired the online opening ceremony of the 27th edition of the World Law Congress, organized by the World Law Foundation and the World Jurist Association. He participated through an institutional video in which he acknowledged that “it is an honor for Colombians to host this congress in recognition for the efforts of the Colombian society to defend the Rule of Law as a guarantor of freedom, order, peace and harmony, precisely as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Colombian Constitution of 1991, and the bicentennial of the promulgation of the Constitution of Cucuta”.

Duque underlined the relevance of the World Law Congress and shoed the importance of “strengthening these valuable dialogues and reflections”, as well as applauding the “innovative” design of this on-going congress that will be carried out through fourteen Opening Sessions “aiming to promoting the strength of the Rule of Law, as fertile ground to allow growth and well-being, development and freedom for our citizens”.

Looking ahead to November 17 and 18, 2021, the date on which the congress will be held in Colombia, the president has sent “my most sincere welcome to our country, where we will continue working to build a better future for all, based on the strength and guarantees of the Rule of Law.

The Colombian Minister of Justice and Law, Margarita Cabello, also took part in the presentation of WLC 2021 and coincided with the President of her country in recognizing the enthusiasm of hosting the World Law Congress: “It is a tribute and recognition of the effort that Colombia and we Colombians are making in the struggle to strengthen the rule of law as a guarantee of freedom, peace, order and democracy”. His counterpart in Spain, the Minister of Justice Juan Carlos Campo, recognized that “we must endeavor to organize seminars as essential as this one, creating an extensive network of jurists who contribute to strengthening the separation of powers, judicial independence, the defense of human rights, pluralism, equality and freedom at all costs”.

In view of these words, Javier Cremades, President of the World Law Foundation and the World Jurist Association, reinforces that this congress, in its entirety, “wants to be recognition by the international legal community of the commitment of Colombian society to build and consolidate a society of opportunities, freer and fairer for all”.

The President of the WJA Spain and Dean of the Barcelona Bar Association, Mª Eugenia Gay, who hosted the opening ceremony, stressed that “the latest challenges that have arisen have shown the importance of countries working together, because there are problems that go beyond borders and need the commitment of governments and civil society”. As Manuel Aragón, academic director of the WLC and emeritus judge of the Spanish Constitutional Court, said, “We can only come out of this crisis if we, jurists, do not forget that the Rule of Law is a demand that we can never renounce to”.

Will the rule of law survive in Europe?

The 27th World Congress of Law has launched a new format in which 14 online sessions will be held as prelude to the most important international legal event. The first of these, under the name “Will the Rule of Law survive in Europe?” was moderated by Viviane Reding, Vice President of the World Law Foundation and former vice-president of the European Commission. Other speakers included Hanna Suchoka, Founding Trustee of the World Law Foundation and prime minister of Poland (1992-1993), François Biltgen, judge of the European Court of Justice and minister for various portfolios, Rainer Arnold, member of the Advisory Council of the World Law Foundation and professor at the University of Regensburg, Marie-Aimée Peyron, Dean of the Paris Bar Association (2017-2019) and Andre Alen, President of the Belgian Constitutional Court.

The right to vaccine of all humanity

By: Javier Cremades – President of the World Jurist Association and Cremades & Calvo-Sotelo Lawyers, and Diego García-Sayán –  former President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (2010-2014).

On January 30, 2020, the Director of the World Health Organization (WHO), Ethiopian Tedros Adhanom, declared a planetary public health emergency. From that moment on, it was clear – and official – that Covid-19 knew no borders and that its effects would not be limited to Wuhan or the Chinese giant.

Under a pandemic that has already caused more than 400,000 deaths, global hope relies on a vaccine accessible for all, regardless of nationality or income.

Currently, WHO, governments, private entities and pharmaceutical giants invest unprecedented amounts of money to develop a drug that ends with this pandemic once and for all; however, no drug have rescued as many lives as vaccines.

Currently, the main challenge is not lack of access to vaccines, treatments or cures for Covid-19, but the actual absence of them. According to experts, the vaccine will arrive throughout 2021. What will happen if that vaccine is exclusively patented by a third party?

As it is well known, one of the main functions of Industrial Property is to provide an incentive system that promotes innovation and ensures the journey of the product through the numerous stages, not without risks, ranging from invention to production and marketing. Patenting sets a right of ownership over an intangible good. Patent owner may be granted a monopoly by a government and, in the case of medicines, it can exceed 20 years.

During one of his latest statement, Francis Gurry, Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and top authority on industrial property issues, reminded us that “generally speaking, almost 70% of research and development funding is provided by the private sector, while about 30% is funded by States.”

Beyond whether this percentage division is applicable in the current research process to find a Covid-19 vaccine, for many the balance between the incentive to innovation and the granting of a monopoly to the inventor is what has facilitated the exponential growth of medicines for all kinds of ailments and diseases. That being the case, is this system mechanically applicable to the current pandemic? How to combine this right to intellectual property with the right to a vaccine for all mankind?

Just over a year ago, the World Trade Organization (WTO) commemorated the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Marrakesh Agreement, which marked the most drastic reform of the global trade system since World War II. Governments at the time were aware that the classic balances of patent ownership rights could not prevail in exceptional situations. Article 31 of this international agreement includes so-called compulsory licenses in cases of “national emergency” or “extreme urgency”. This legal figure, hardly applied in practice, is another expression of the traditional forced expropriation on account of public utility. This “expropriation” of a vaccine could be one of the alternatives governments could turn into to address the cry of billions of people who are also entitled to health and, in this case, to be saved from dying in the pandemic.

However, reducing incentives to researchers and investors, who are using vast human and financial resources to develop the longed-for vaccine, could delay the development and final commercialization of the vaccine. For this reason, compulsory licenses are subject to “adequate remuneration” to the Patent owner. This is precisely the position of countries such as Germany, Canada or Chile, which have already ordered the granting of forced licenses for all Covid-19 linked patents.

At the moment, the collaborative promotion and encouragement of research between the public and private sectors are key to achieving the awaited cure. However, the extreme severity of the situation will subsequently justify resorting to exceptional solutions within the framework of international Agreements; thus, the vaccine will be available to all humanity.

Save the date_Barcelona

World Law Congress. Online Opening Session. Barcelona 07 JUL 2020

The World Law Congress 2021 begins this coming July 7, with an innovative On-going format that will hold fifteen monthly Online Opening Sessions from different countries around the world, finalizing in Cartagena de Indias on November 17 and 18, 2021.

The Barcelona Bar Association, led by Dean Ma. Eugenia Gay, President of WJA Spain, will be hosting the Opening Session Barcelona, a hybrid event that will feature both face-to-face and online attendees, and panelists of the highest level. First, there will be a short institutional opening event, and then the development of the panel “Will the Rule of Law Survive in Europe?”, contextualized on the deterioration of the European unity, not only owing the Brexit, but also because of the reaction to Covid-19 related matters and the disputes between the constitutional courts.

REGISTRO GRATUITO Y ENLACE DE ACCESO
Se requiere registro por adelantado

Se puede seguir la sesión con el audio original a través del canal de Youtube del Colegio de Abogados de Barcelona, a través de este link:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoUrDebCVF2W-VZvGRBhiOg


Fecha:
07 JUL 2020

Hora:
10:00 Bogotá
11:00 Nueva York
17:00 Madrid
23:00 Hong Kong


La World Law Foundation nombra nuevos patronos

La World Law Foundation ha celebrado, de forma telemática, una nueva reunión del Patronato que ha contando con Javier Cremades, como presidente, y con Alfredo Dagnino como el secretario del Patronato.

En el encuentro virtual han participado Viviane Reding, vicepresidenta del Patronato de la World Law Foundation y miembro del Parlamento Europeo, Elisabeth Cassin, sobrina nieta de Rene Cassin, Hanna Stanisława Suchocka, primera ministra de Polonia,   en los 1992 y 1993, y miembro del Club de Madrid, Hilarie Bass, presidenta del Bass Institute for Diversity and Inclusion y ex presidenta de la American Bar Association, María Eugenia Gay Rosell, decana del Ilustre Colegio de Abogados de Barcelona, Eduardo Ferrer Mac-Gregor Poisot, presidente de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos en México, Luis de Carlos, presidente de Uria Menéndez, Carlos Ayala, vicepresidente de la International Commission of Jurists, Juan Pablo GallegoCarlos de la Mata, abogado, James Black II, Councel Silverman Acampora, David Hatchwell y Ulises Fernández.

En la sesión también ha intervenido María Dolores de Cospedal, que fue nombrada Patrona de la Fundación, junto con Antonio Poncioni, asesor senior de Lazard, jefe de Asuntos Gubernamentales y Relaciones Externas, así como director para África, Emiratos Árabes Unidos y Portugal en Moshe Capital, Ana Pastor, vicepresidenta segunda del Congreso de los Diputados, Manuel Valls, ex primer ministro de Francia y actual concejal del Ayuntamiento de Barcelona, Santiago Solines y Andrés Cardó, presidente de Andrés Cardó & Asociados, miembro independiente del Board of Directors y del Audit Committee de VASTA y miembro independiente del Comité Operativo del Grupo El Comercio – Prensa & News, que ha sido consejero delegado de Prisa Radio y Cadena SER, director general internacional de Prisa Radio, director general de Operaciones de Prisa, miembro del Board of Directors del Grupo Santillana, director de Desarrollo Corporativo, Comercial y Marketing de Prisa, Country Manager de Prisa en Brasil, director general Grupo Santillana y director general de Editora Moderna en Brasil, además de director general de la Editorial Santillana en Bolivia.

Durante el encuentro, el presidente de la Fundación, Javier Cremades, ha hecho partícipe a todos los participantes de la entrega del World Peace & Liberty Award a la Magistrada de la Corte Suprema de EEUU, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, el pasado mes de febrero. También ha compartido con los participantes cómo se están desarrollando los preparativos para el próximo World Law Congress, al igual que les ha trasladado los avances para este congreso que se celebrará en noviembre de 2021 en Cartagena de Indias.

Colombian President, Iván Duque, receives representatives of the World Jurist Association and the World Law Foundation

Representatives of the World Jurist Association and the World Law Foundation presented the World Law Congress before the President of Colombia, Iván Duque.  The upcoming Congress will be celebrated in Bogota and Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, on February 8-10, 2021.

The reception took place at the `Palacio de Nariño´ and was also attended by the Minister of Justice and Law of Colombia, Margarita Cabello Blanco, the Inspector General of Colombia, Fernando Carrillo Flórez, Juan Luis Cebrián, Founding Trustee of the World Law Foundation and President of Honor of El País of Spain, Martín Acero,  Managing Partner of PPU,  university authorities and other notable personalities.

In relation to the next edition of the World Law Congress that will place Colombia, President Iván Duque, pointed out that its celebration is a great recognition to the effort of all Colombians  defending the Rule of Law as a guarantor of freedom, order, peace and concord among themselves. Furthermore, Javier Cremades, president of the World Jurist Association and the World Law Foundation, described this congress as a “declaration of the international legal community to the commitment that the Colombian society has with the defense and strengthening of the Rule of Law and its institutions, in opposition to violence, as well as its effort to create a society of opportunities, freer and more just for all”.

During the World Law Congress 2021, the World Peace & Liberty Award will be presented to a distinguished personality. This award has been previously received by international jurists committed with the defense of the Rule of Law, such as Sir Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela, René Cassin, King Philip VI of Spain,  and, recently, the Hon. Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.

President Duque seeing a replica of the World Peace & Liberty Award presented to Hon. Ruth Bader Ginsburg on February 07, 2020 in Washington DC
Representatives of the World Jurist Association & World Law Foundation with President Ivan Duque
Meeting at Palacio de Nariño
Meeting at Palacio de Nariño
WJA & WLF President, Javier Cremades, & President of Colombia, Iván Duque
Juan Luis Cebrián, Founding Trustee of the World Law Foundation, greeting President of Colombia, Iván Duque
Diego Solana, WJA member and Program Coordinator of the World Law Congress Colombia 2021, greeting President of Colombia, Iván Duque
Gabriel Fernández Rojas, WJA member and General Coordinator of the World Law Congress Colombia 2021, greeting President of Colombia, Iván Duque

Diego Solana & Iván Duque
Javier Cremades, Juan Luis Cebrián & Iván Duque