Tag: human rights

Medal-of-Honor

Spanish Diplomat Jesús Silva receives the Medal of Honor of the World Jurist Association

The WJA recognizes his work in the defense of freedom, the rule of law, and democracy. The WJA Medal of Honor was presented by Javier Cremades, President of the WJA, during the Oslo Freedom Forum, which is being held in the Norwegian capital from May 23 to 25.

The World Jurist Association (WJA) has awarded its Medal of Honor to Spanish diplomat Jesús Silva, current Consul General of Spain in Cape Town, South Africa, former Ambassador of Spain to Venezuela, Panama and Jamaica. The diplomat’s work in the Spanish delegation in Venezuela, from March 2017 to November 2020, has merited him this award, for his career as ambassador and for having defended the values professed by the WJA, particularly his defense of the rule of law and human dignity in the face of abuses of power.

Silva’s time in Caracas was very turbulent and delicate. Since his arrival, the embassy was the seat of secret negotiations between Chavismo and the Venezuelan opposition. It was also a center of courageous defense of human rights, especially of political prisoners with Spanish nationality. After the presidential elections of May 2018, considered fraudulent, chavismo maintained control of the territory and the government in Venezuela, but without the recognition of the European Union and other countries of the world. For its part, the opposition, represented by Juan Guaidó, recognized as President in charge by the United States, the European Union and numerous free countries, maintained moral authority. In the midst of this scenario, the Spanish government granted shelter in the residence of the Spanish Ambassador in Caracas, as a guest, to the Venezuelan prisoner of conscience and activist, Leopoldo López, one of the main opponents of Nicolas Maduro’s regime.

Ambassador Silva’s work, maintaining the balance to preserve diplomatic relations between both nations and at the same time defending the values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law, was a very delicate task. A true example and reference of the usefulness and validity of contemporary diplomacy. For this reason, in the words of Javier Cremades, president of the World Jurist Association: “We recognize in him his courageous defense of the values of freedom, as well as human rights and democracy in extreme circumstances, during his responsibility as ambassador of Spain in Venezuela. Silva connects with the best tradition of Spanish diplomats who were able to take risks to protect the life and dignity of people. In different circumstances, people like him, or like Ángel Sainz Briz, show us that when a profession is exercised with purpose, the world becomes a more livable place, even in circumstances as dramatic as those experienced today by the Venezuelan people, deprived of their democratic rights and the values of the rule of law”.

For his part, Venezuelan leader Leopoldo López noted that he was “witness to how Ambassador Silva assumed a permanent line of defense of political prisoners, of their human rights, and the accompaniment of their families”.

The award ceremony took place within the framework of the Oslo Freedom Forum, organized by the Human Rights Foundation, a series of conferences that brings together distinguished personalities from around the world, activists and victims of authoritarian regimes, all committed to human rights, who are meeting from May 23 to 25 in Oslo.

Medal-of-Honor

 

 

Barranquilla will become the world law capital with the celebration of the World Law Congress Colombia 2021

The World Jurist Association (WJA) has presented, along with the Ministry of Justice and Law of Colombia, and the Mayor’s Office of Barranquilla, the World Law Congress Colombia 2021 that will be held on December 2 and 3 at the Puerta de Oro Centre, in Barranquilla. Thus, La Arenosa will become the world law capital during the two days that the congress takes place, where heads of State are summoned, such as Iván Duque and Felipe VI, King of Spain, presidents and judges of high and international courts, general prosecutors and representatives of international organizations; as well as academics, lawyers, businessmen, human rights activists and law students from all continents.

The program will focus on promoting the rule of law as an instrument for the development of nations, offering a comprehensive vision of current issues that concern humanity and on which the law and justice world must respond. Among the aspects to be debated are the analysis of the responses of the States to the pandemic, cybersecurity and digitization, judicial independence and the current migratory crises, among others. The more than 35 Round tables that will make up the content of the congress will integrate the vision of notorious jurists, businessmen, representatives of Colombian and international institutions, communicators and students, who support the sustainable development of humanity, and coexistence in democracy and freedom.

During the second day, the World Peace & Liberty Award will be granted to the Colombian civil society and democracy, the longest in Latin America, for their defense, strengthening and promotion of Rule of Law over vicissitudes, and will have the participation of the President of Colombia, Iván Duque Márquez, King Felipe VI of Spain and the former presidents of Colombia Álvaro Uribe Velez, Ernesto Samper, and Andrés Pastrana, who have confirmed their attendance. In the 2020 edition, this award, considered the Nobel Prize for Law, was awarded to the recently deceased Justice of the United States Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and in previous editions to personalities such as Sir Winston Churchill, René Cassin, Nelson Mandela and King Felipe VI of Spain. An award that all of them have received for their indisputable commitment to the rule of law and the defense of democracy and freedom.

The president of the WJA, Javier Cremades, has recognized that “we chose Colombia as host to this congress because, despite the difficulties it has faced, Colombian society has always supported living in democracy and, furthermore, the country has become the perfect setting coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the Colombian constitution and the 200th anniversary of the constitution of Cucuta”. Mr. Cremades has invited Colombian lawyers, academics, businessmen, and law students from around the world “to attend this extraordinary event that is coming to Colombia for the first time.”

Along these lines, the Minister of Justice and Law, Wilson Ruiz Orejuela, has mentioned that “for the National Government this designation is a tribute and recognition to the daily and tireless efforts made by the State and the Colombian people, strengthening the principles of the Social State of Law and guaranteeing the freedom of citizens, order and peace within the framework of the democratic system that governs us”.

For her part, María Eugenia Gay, president of the Spanish chapter of the WJA, has ensured that the exchange of ideas, reflective analysis and the practice of a constructive dialogue shielding us from prejudices and polarization, constitute today a virtue that we must procure; the World Law Congress being, precisely, an opportunity for understanding that brings together the most prominent personalities from the world of Law, Politics and Diplomacy.

Finally, the mayor of Barranquilla, Jaime Pumarejo Heins, stressed that “Barranquilla will be the world epicenter of Law, a setting where the conversation about democracy and peace is re-established through the rule of law, protecting those who do not use their strength and power of communication to prevail. From here, important points will be debated on the preservation of freedom and how to face the challenge of continuing to build solid democracies that are increasingly in tune with the needs of today’s world. We celebrate this vote of confidence in the city and the country, and for that we have been preparing in recent years, which will also generate employment, opportunities and quality of life for Barranquilla residents within the framework of the successful process of economic reactivation that we currently lead at the national level ”.

 

The presentation of the congress has been covered in different media and you can here see what has been said about the most important legal event at an international level:

 

NTN24: https://youtu.be/Dz4KYQHgiAI

RCN news: https://youtu.be/quwU5XwFOKk

Telecaribe: https://youtu.be/llrBEswXD58

 

You can consult the program and make the attendance record by accessing through this link: https://worldlawcongress.com/

The World Jurist Association signs a collaboration agreement with the International Association of Lawyers

The World Jurist Association (WJA) and the International Association of Lawyers (UIA) have signed a collaboration agreement and have done so within the framework of the UIA congress that took place in Madrid on the 28th, 29th and 30th of October.

During its development, Javier Cremades, president of the WJA, received the medal of honor from the UIA awarded by its president, Jorge Martí Moreno. In his speech, Mr. Cremades thanked the recognition and invited all attendees to travel to Barranquilla to attend the World Law Congress Colombia 2021, which will take place on the 2nd and 3rd of December, 2021, involving “the celebration of the Rule of Law”.

The congress, which has become the largest international legal event, celebrates its 27th edition this year, under the name “Rule of Law: development for nations”. It will bring together more than 250 panelists who will pay tribute to Colombian democracy, which will be awarded with the World Peace & Liberty Award, being the first time that this recognition is awarded collectively.

The more than 35 roundtables will focus on current issues such as artificial intelligence, climate change and the role of women in law. Ultimately, the program will focus on promoting the rule of law as an instrument for the development of nations, offering a comprehensive vision of current issues that concern humanity and on which the world of law and justice must respond.

You can consult the program, as well as make the attendance registration by accessing the website through this link: https://worldlawcongress.com/

Opening Session Lisbon: Educate in Human Rights

“Human rights education is vital to promote participation in inclusion, cooperation and solidarity; it fosters understanding and prevents violence and, as such, it should be treated as an investment in the future that should not be optional”. This is how Michelle Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of Chile, has defended the need to promote and respect human rights through education. She has done so during the Lisbon Opening Session organized by the World Jurist Association and the Organization of Ibero-American States for Education, Science and Culture (OEI), as a prelude to the World Law Congress Colombia 2021.

Bachelet has recognized that all citizens should be able to «have the assurance that we are all equally deserving of dignity, respect and justice, without discrimination.» Corroborating her words, Mariano Jabonero, Secretary General of the OEI and co-organizer of the event, has assured that “every child has the right to have rights and, although it has not always been a maxim defended in schools, the objective is that the educational system assumes this task as fundamental and as a priority”.

Marta Lucía Ramírez, Vice-president of Colombia, also participated in the conference, considering the need for more institutions committed to prevention, investigation and punishment: “strengthen the institutional framework and talk about justice in relation to human rights and the capacity of the state to prevent actions violating against such and to punish said violations”. He has also assured that «in the Government of Colombia we prioritize respecting and guaranteeing human rights within the framework of the law» because, as he adds, «human rights violations are the cause of conflicts later in the future and we have to ensure that all citizen actions are aimed at sustainable peace”.

The former President of the Government of Spain, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, is committed to equality between men and women to achieve human rights in all parts of the world: “it is the great transforming force”. «The most advanced countries are those in which women enjoy the same rights as men in real terms and where the values ​​of coexistence in equality, which generate peace, dialogue and understanding, are those that spread within society», he added.

For his part, Leonel Fernández, former President of the Dominican Republic and President of the Fundación Global Democracia y Desarrollo (FUNGLODE), has recognized that “much progress has been made in Ibero-America, through its constitutions, regarding the construction of a democratic state under the rule of law, but we must advance in confronting crime and impunity to consolidate democracy and the defense of human rights”.

In charge of moderating the debate was Elisabeth Cassin, patron of the World Law Foundation (WLF) and former Vice President of Orange UK, who stressed that “human rights must be positioned above the interests of States and set education as an integral part of this objective”. In this regard, Javier Cremades, President of the WJA and the WLF, has ruled that «human rights education is a debt that each generation owes to the next.»

This meeting has summed the tenth session prior to the World Law Congress to be held in Colombia later this year, making it coincide with the 30th anniversary of the Colombian constitution. Through the projection of an institutional video, the President of the host country, Iván Duque, has pledged to “continue promoting the strength of the rule of law as fertile ground to allow the growth and well-being, development and freedom of citizens» and has assured that «we will continue working to build a better future for everyone based on the strength and guarantees of the rule of law. »

FULL SESSION: https://youtu.be/lVs9J_DPyr4

SUMMARY SESSION: https://youtu.be/YXaYOvqSSiY

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”. 

FULL SESSION: https://youtu.be/cmUDv5-R1o8

SUMMARY SESSION: https://youtu.be/TIhVmX_wtuA

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.