Tag: Democracy

Opening Session Washington: “Human Rights and Justice”

On November 12, the WJA celebrated the fourth Opening Session of the World Law Congress Colombia 2021 from the Headquarters of the Organization of American States in Washington, D.C.

“We are far from a reality where human rights are protected in real time, and there is a long way ahead to guarantee effective mechanisms”.  This is how the Secretary General of the Organization of American States, Luis Almagro, assessed the current situation in the debate “Human Rights and Justice: Fundamental Pillars for the Strengthening of Democratic Systems“. Almagro recognized that “political systems have to be structured in the best way to make justice work in societies, and this is the independence of power”.  He also pointed out that “the main problem of democracy is impunity, a red line that separates it from dictatorship.

Tamara Sujú, WJA Representative before the International Criminal Court and director of the CASLA Institute, chaired the panel and highlighted its importance, assuring that “respect for human rights and justice tells us when democracy degenerates into dictatorial government”, and she bet on universal justice to denounce the crimes of Latin American dictatorships.

In this direction, the former president of Colombia, Álvaro Uribe Vélez, highlighted how tyrannies are detrimental to justice in the Latin American region and assured that “in this area everyone talks about human rights, but for many it is an electoral ploy”. He added, furthermore, that “we must be careful to avoid people who do not really believe in human rights from reaching power, since not everyone can defend human rights”.

Regarding the situation in Latin America, Dita Charanzová, Vice President of the European Parliament, highlighted the fundamental role played by international institutions against countries that violate human rights and highlighted the action of the European Parliament, which, she said, has openly supported investigations into crimes against humanity. In this sense, she requested “that the international community continue to speak out in order to continue rejecting dictatorships and, thus, achieve the absolute reestablishment of human rights in those Latin American countries subject to these regimes”.

Meanwhile, Karen Longaric, former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Bolivia, emphasized that “only when the rule of law is solid, the justice system is independent” and noted that “even when governments emerge from elections or votes, they can have dictatorial and totalitarian characteristics”. Regarding justice, she stressed that it “does not exist in times of dictatorship, because the judicial body and the Public Prosecutor’s Office are obsequious with dictators” and she questioned the role of international human rights organizations since, she assured, “they have a role to play in protecting human rights, but some of them do not work or do so poorly because they have a biased view towards judging or appreciating human rights violations”.

Javier Cremades, president of the World Jurist Association, concluded the panel alleging that “there is no assured peace if there is no submission to the law” and stated that “human rights are there so each person can live their life with dignity and see all their objective value recognized”.

This Opening Session was the fourth meeting preceding the World Law Congress to be held in Colombia in 2021. The President of the host country, Iván Duque, also participated in this session, and through the projection of an institutional video he committed himself to “continue promoting the strength of the rule of law as fertile ground to allow growth and well-being, development and freedom for citizens” and assured that “we will continue working to build a better future for all, based on the strength and guarantees of the rule of law”. 

The World Jurist Association Awarded Press Freedom & Democracy

In Colombia, the World Jurist Association recognized media and journalists in a ceremony held on February 11, 2020 at the headquarters of the National Media Association “Asomedios” in Bogota. As the WJA, this association defends freedom of expression and promotes the development of the media sector in Colombia.

A total of four distinctions were awarded to “honor a well-done work in the defense of press freedom and democracy through truthful and proven information”, as Javier Cremades, president of the World Jurist Association, remarked. Laudations were in charge of relevant personalities, such as Juan Luis Cebrián, Founding Trustee of the World Law Foundation and Founder and Honorary President of El País (Spanish newspaper) and Fernando Carrillo Florez, Inspector General of Colombia, among others.

Roberto Pombo, director of the daily El Tiempo (Colombia), was awarded the Medal of Press Freedom, for his magnificent work in assuring fair information from different perspectives.

Three distinctions in the category of Defence of Democracy were awarded to newspapers in different countries: El Espectador (Colombia) received by Ana María Busquets, widow of Guillermo Cano; El Nacional (Venezuela) received by its Director Miguel Henrique Otero; and Cambio16 (Spain), received by its Editor Jorge Neri, also on behalf of its President Gorka Landaburu. All of them, first hand victims of terrorism, drug cartels and dictatorship.

This ceremony was celebrated in concordance with the values of the World Jurist Association, recognizing of the inherent dignity, equal rights and inalienability of humanity, as established in the preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Related links:

La World Law Foundation otorgó reconocimiento a Miguel Henrique Otero por su lucha a favor de la democracia en el país (El Nacional)

Reconocimiento internacional a trayectoria de periodistas (El Tiempo)

Jorge Neri recibió medalla por la lucha de Cambio16 en defensa de las democracias (Cambio16)

Family picture of the awarding ceremony at Asomedios
Fernando Carrillo Florez, Inspector General of Colombia
Jorge Neri, Roberto Pombo, Juan Luis Cebrián, Ana María Busquets de Cano, Miguel Henrique Otero & Fernando Carrillo Florez
Jorge Neri, Editor of Cambio 16, being impossed with the Defense of Democracy Medal by the Inspector General of Colombia, Fernando Carrillo Florez

WJA Madrid Congress – Save the Date!

 

In February 2019, Madrid will become the capital of the International Legal World during the celebration of the 26th WJA Biennial Congress. The program will focus on Globality & Current Challenges to Democracy, offering a holistic view of the great issues that concern humanity, on which the jurist world must respond. Matters that converge with the objectives of the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations, and the achievement of peace and prosperity through sustainable development.

In special, this Congress will represent a milestone for the WJA, as the World Peace & Liberty Award will be presented for the first time. The awarded personality is of the highest interest in Spain, a representative of unwavering commitment to the Rule of Law and the defense of Democracy and Freedom.

The Program of the Congress will integrate the vision of notorious International and Spanish jurists, companies and institutions that support the progress of humanity, and coexistence in democracy and freedom. Keynote Speakers and Panelists already confirmed include Former Prime Ministers, high representatives of the UN, OAS, EU and other relevant international entities, Chief Justices from different Supreme Courts, and prominent legal academics, among other prestigious jurists from around the globe.

Save the date for this Grand Biennial Congress!

Further information and opening of registrations will begin in November 2018. Would you have any quieries, please, do not hesitate to contact our Executive Director, Yacky Rodríguez at wjadirector@gmail.com

Would you like to learn more about our fantastic next location? Visit Madrid’s Official Tourist Website

Looking forward to meeting you in Madrid!

Regards,

 

Franklin Hoet Linares – WJA Worldwide President