Tag: human rights

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”. 

WJA’s Official visit to President of Argentina

Last Monday March 25, 2019, WJA Worldwide President Javier Cremades held an audience with the President of Argentina Mauricio Macri. The meeting was held at the Casa Rosada, the Official Office of the Argentinean Government.

The meeting was also attended by Juan Luis Cebrián, distinguished Spanish journalist, founder of Diario El País of Spain and WJA member, and by Iván Pavlovsky, Presidential Spokesperson of Argentina.

During this official visit, the attendees discussed about Human Rights in Latin America, especially regarding the Venezuelan migratory crisis that greatly affects Argentina, the entire hemisphere and Spain, as main European destination for Venezuelan migrants, and how could the WJA collaborate with reinforcing Human Rights and the Rule of Law throughout the Latin American Region. 

As the WJA Worldwide President presented the work of the World Jurist Association and how Congresses and Conferences provide information to jurists, professionals and students on the importance of the Rule of Law and the relevance of finding Peace Through Law, they agreed on exploring dates for the organization of an Ibero-American Law Congress in Buenos Aires, with the assent of the Argentinean Government.

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

 

Peace Starts in Korea

By Franklin Hoet-Linares

Worldwide President of the World Jurist Association

 

When Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God”, among other Beatitudes, he did not specify whether that message was addressed to Jews, Samaritans, Romans or his own followers. Everyone, without distinction. And then, I would add, to ratify that they are concepts that march together: “Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven“.

That is the humble way in which here on Earth we have been working for 40 years at the World Peace Through Law Center, founded in 1965, today World Jurist Association (WJA); without distinctions, exclusions, privileged inclusions, or discriminations. The WJA seeks to strengthen and promote the rule of law and spread peace through law; a recognition of the inherent dignity and equality of inalienable rights of all the members of humanity, founded on freedom, justice and peace in the world, as established in the Preamble to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), approved by the General Assembly of the United Nations (Article III of the WJA Charter).

As WJA Worldwide President for third time, I have committed in the pursuit of our objectives, traveling to different places in the world to actively attend international and regional conferences, among other activities, organized by individuals, associations, corporations, non-governmental organizations and governmental institutions with similar leitmotiv. The cooperation extends to all branches of law: judges, academics and lawyers. We cannot become judges and discriminate those who work for peace, either co-religionists or not, because, in the end, our north is to maintain the inherent dignity of every human being in the process of achieving peace and justice.

Under that mandate and with deep conviction of pursuing a realistic world peace, I attended the invitation of the HWPL (Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light) in Seoul, Republic of Korea, in 2015, to prepare a document that initially was meant to be an international treaty for the promotion of peace and disarmament, with a view to the cessation of wars. Considering the difficulties of achieving such purpose, legal complexity, multiple political interests in the international scenario, especially in the formation of instruments legally binding the community of United Nations States Members, the International Law Peace Committee (ILPC) was created.

I accepted to integrate this Committee, and, within our mission, we achieved our goal after multiple meetings and discussions. A consensus was reached in a document of 10 articles and 38 clauses, called “Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War” (DPCW). The fundamental spirit is the same one that the WJA shares, just governance based on law, not power. Exactly, the same basic concept devised by Sir Winston Churchill when he was presented with our project for a center for peace: “Contribute firmly, from civil society, to strengthen the rule of law“. We were convinced that the future of immediate world peace was being played in Korea.

Or in the words of the inspiring Dwight Eisenhower on our first conference in Washington, by supporting the creation of today’s WJA: “The world has no choice between force and law: if civilization tries to survive it must choose the force of the law“.

This year we attended for second time to Seoul, the peace of the world was centered in those precise moments and territories, between the two Korean countries, with the United States and Russia behind; more precisely, Trump and Putin. Those of us who share the experiences of the Americans and follow the daily news on the media, perceive the almost imminent spectrum of war and, with us and our family, tens of millions more. Imagine how the consequences would be like in North and South Korea. The ILPC finally signaled a laudable solution to the manifest impossibility to obtaining a consensus at the UN General Assembly, as the DPCW restricted the powers of the States and imposed them obligations, which is not realistic at this time of a new international cold war: “Recognize with merit the excellent progress of the President of HWPL in bringing together individual States and regional organizations around the DPCW. Also, recommend that this process will continue until sufficient support is obtained for the presentation of the DPCW before the UN GA with a view to its endorsement in the form of a resolution approved within it“. It is not small thing.

On September 18, I had the historic opportunity of visiting the demilitarized zone. Today, just a few weeks later, in the process of dismantling. Something similar happened in Berlin, when the WJA held a Congress promoting the disarmament and unification of the two Germanies. It is gratifying to contribute, even with a grain of sand.

The UDHR is not an international treaty, it is what it is, a statement of great weight accepted by the entire international community, and that was decided in 1944, when realist legislators realized that it was not possible to obtain a consensus of the main countries for a treaty on fundamental rights, hence decided to produce three instruments. First, the Declaration, not legally enforceable, even though today, after 70 years of validity in international doctrine, it is given a weight of customary law. Subsequently, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICCPR and ICESCR, respectively) were produced. Both were adopted by the UN GA through Resolution 2200 A (XXI) of December 16, 1966, entered into force on March 23, 1976, and have been ratified by 167 States. These two Covenants have a value and can be legally binding among the countries that signed and ratify them.

It is our purpose in the immediate future to extract some fundamental political rights from the DPCW and incorporate them as an amendment to the Covenants. Furthermore, a review of the 30 Clauses or rights of the UDHR. Likewise, we are going to support an initiative of Unite for Rights, a human rights association that is trying to produce a Bill of Rights, to unify the existing human rights legislation in the world, in a simple, accurate and integrative way.

Now, after being sure that the war in the Korean Peninsula is moving away by leaps and bounds, we want to dedicate ourselves to work for peace in Venezuela and continue with the preparation of the XXVI Congress of the WJA in Madrid, to be held from 18 to 20 February 2019

 

Bratislava, October 08, 2018.