Tag: Rule of Law

The President of the Constitutional Court of Spain chaired meeting of the Spanish legal profession for the World Law Congress 2021

>> The meeting was attended by the Minister of Justice of Spain, the Colombian Ambassador to Spain, the former president and current judge of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Eduardo Ferrer, and the 50 most important law firms with presence in Spain

The Madrid Bar Association (ICAM) hosted a lunch with representatives of legal institutions and law firms convened by the World Jurist Association (WJA). During such, the program of the Opening Session Bogotá-Madrid of the World Law Congress Colombia 2021 was presented, which will be held during July 5 and 6 in Madrid. This lunch was attended by the President of the Constitutional Court of Spain, Juan José González Rivas, the Minister of Justice of Spain, Juan Carlos Campo, the Colombian Ambassador to Spain, Luis Guillermo Plata, the judge of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Eduardo Ferrer Mac-Gregor, the president of the General Council of Spanish Lawyers, Victoria Ortega, the dean of ICAM, José María Alonso, and the vice president of the Mutual Fund for Lawyers, Joaquín García-Romanillos.

During the opening speech, José María Alonso acknowledged that the hosting of this event is “a joint project to promote the Spanish and Ibero-American legal world beyond our borders.” The Dean pointed out the importance of “being aware of our potential and to act in unison.” In this sense, he welcomed initiatives such as those of the World Jurist Association, “which has the objective of reinforcing and enlarging our presence in the world, as well as being a collective, supportive and inclusive project.”

For his part, Javier Cremades, president of the WJA, underlined the association’s special defense of the rule of law and explained that in the world “there are profound processes of distortion and falsification of the rule of law within our democracies; alerts that exist in many countries and show that the rule of law must be taken care of so that more and more people take shelter under it”, recalling “the need for life to occur under the rule of the law ”.

Let us remember that the World Law Congress brings together prestigious presidents of courts, magistrates, government officials, academics, lawyers, students and legal professionals from around the world, who discuss defense issues of the rule of law as a warrantor of freedom. The last edition, held in Madrid in 2019, brought together more than 2,000 jurists, a framework in which the WJA awarded King Felipe VI with the World Peace & Liberty Award.

The next edition of the World Law Congress, which will be held in Colombia, on December 2 and 3, 2021, has held Opening Sessions from different cities around the world over the course of a year, with the Opening Session Bogotá-Madrid being the most powerful of all, as an allegory to the delivery of the witness from one country to the other.

Ambassador Luis Guillermo Plata expressed the suitability of holding the Congress at a time like the one Colombia is going through. He highlighted the values ​​promoted by this event and the message it conveys, since “Colombia is a country where we must talk about freedom, democracy and rights, but all within the framework of the law.”

The Minister of Justice of Spain, who participated in the inauguration of the opening sessions in Barcelona in July 2020, congratulated the World Jurist Association for having references from the international legal sphere, and has recognized that this event “represents an extraordinary opportunity to strengthen international legal cooperation”.

For his part, the president of the Constitutional Court of Spain expressed his wish that the celebration of the Opening Session Bogotá-Madrid and the congress in Colombia “be moments of deepening on the values ​​of the rule of law.”

Eduardo Ferrer Mac-Gregor, Judge of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Trustee of the World Law Foundation and member of its Organizing Committee, presented the content of the Opening Session Bogotá-Madrid program. On July 5, he highlighted the holding of an unprecedented panel discussion on gender equality and the rule of law, made up by presidents and judges of the world’s most important supranational courts, who will meet for the first time in history. Similarly, tribute will be paid to the recently deceased Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the last recipient of the World Peace & Liberty Award in 2020, and the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Medals of Honor. Ginsburg of the WJA to the world’s leading women jurists will be presented in her honor.

For its part, on July 6 there will be a summit of presidents of the supreme and constitutional courts of Europe and the Americas, which will also have presidents of different institutions related to the Judiciary and the presidents of the bars of the Mexican legal profession, with aim to discuss the rule of law.

Al finalizar el acto se entregaron placas conmemorativas a José María Alonso , Decano del ICAM, Luis de Carlos , Patrono de la World Law Foundation y Presidente de Uría Menéndez, Pedro Pérez Llorca ¸ Socio Director de Pérez-Llorca, Carlos Rueda , Socio Director de Gómez-Acebo y Pombo, y Fernando Bautista , Socio Director de Bautista & Asociados. Un reconocimiento a su permanente y necesaria colaboración con el éxito del World Law Congress Madrid 2019.

SIGN THE WJA DECLARATION ON THE RULE OF LAW IN MEXICO

Recent events in Mexico have raised concerns in the international legal community, in connection with important aspects of the Mexican constitutional and legal order.

As a global association of jurists, the WJA’s ultimate mission is the promotion of the rule of the law and never of the force; in this line, the WJA on behalf of the whole legal international community will issue an institutional declaration on the Rule of Law in Mexico. 

(You may sign the Declaration HERE)

With this initiative, the WJA seeks to encourage the national and international legal community, as well as the Mexican government authorities, officials, judges, magistrates and the civil society to stand firm in defending and upholding the Rule of Law.

The WJA calls for dialogue among all levels of government, the judiciary, and civil society, to unite, in order to promote respect for and the supremacy of the rule of law, and offers its support and assistance to all parties who wish to work together in good faith to resolve the differences now faced by the government and people of Mexico.

READ THE WJA DECLARATION ON THE RULE OF LAW IN MEXICO

To sign and support this Declaration CLICK HERE

LEA LA DECLARACIÓN DE LA WJA SOBRE EL ESTADO DE DERECHO EN MÉXICO

Puede firmar la declaración AQUÍ


The Rule of Law through the Educational System WLC Opening Session Dominican Republic

Chaired by Luis Henry Molina Peña, President of the Supreme Court of the Dominican Republic, the World Jurist Association celebrated the Opening Session Dominican Republic of the World Law Congress “Higher Education: A dialogue in the Market”, on January 19, 2021. The event focused on the need to promote the rule of law through the education system.

Javier Cremades, President of the World Jurist Association (WJA) and the World Law Foundation, opened the debate by calling for collaboration to “educate the population on the importance of the rule of law through all educational structures and thus ensure that the new generations of judges, prosecutors and jurists can have access to a coherent legal system”.

Along these lines, María Eugenia Gay, president of WJA Spain and dean of the Barcelona Bar Association, acknowledged that the education system at its highest levels has to provide students with the tools they need to perform their work in decent conditions, and added that we must ensure that we provide all the mechanisms to ensure that lack of experience is an intermediate stage between training and employment.

William Adams, Managing Director of Accreditation and Legal Education at the American Bar Association, emphasized that training around the rule of law will have a greater impact on higher education if it starts at the grassroots: “civics education in elementary schools was very common, it disappeared and now it is coming back into the curriculum, and I hope that the school boards start acknowledging that this is as necessary as it used to be.

For his part, Antonio García Padilla, president of the Puerto Rican Academy of Jurisprudence and Legislation, coordinator and moderator of the panel, directed the debate towards the dichotomy that arises from the possibility of pursuing an entire law degree online, while there are countries that do not recognize the quality of a distance education. In fact, Joseph K. West, partner and head of diversity and inclusion at Duane Morris, insisted on the need to “be aware of how you are educating and what education you are providing, because schools need to focus on inclusion, as they have begun to understand what the real situation is in dealing with people.”

Maite D. Oronoz Rodríguez, president of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico, emphasized that currently “we are training lawyers for the 20th century because, although the world has evolved, the judiciary has not evolved as fast”. She believes that it is “imperative to rethink the way we educate,” but acknowledged that “while it is true that technology facilitates justice and the search for truth, I am not sure that it makes a student complete with the needs that we will keep on having in courtrooms.” In this sense, as she pointed out, “the interpersonal intelligence and communication that occurs in an academic environment, in a classroom or in a courtroom, I don’t think is fully and completely achieved by a fully online preparation or education.”

Regarding the role technology is playing in the legal aspect, Luis Henry Molina Peña, president of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Dominican Republic, said that “the Internet has become an essential element that, until now, had only had an impact on the processing of paperwork. Now, it has transformed the operators of the administration of justice and has allowed citizens to get closer to justice, enabling them to have control over the provision of a service, for example, and providing them with greater transparency”.

Jaime Granados Peña, lawyer and university professor, specialist in criminal law, emphasized that the most difficult thing in the Colombian judicial system has been to understand that technology is not a threat, but a tool to achieve different circumstances: “they represent an opportunity to bring respect for the law closer to citizens and generate new possibilities for their rights to become a reality”.

This meeting is the sixth session prior to the World Congress of Law to be held in Colombia this year, coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the Colombian constitution. Through the projection of an institutional video, the president of the host country, Iván Duque, has committed to “continue promoting the strength of the rule of law as fertile ground to allow growth and welfare, development and freedom of citizens” and has 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://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWvjTrOtlFM

SUMMARY SESSION: https://youtu.be/kOpOSVUW2q8

Opening Session Strasbourg “International Protection of Families & Children”

In collaboration with the European Bars Federation (FBE), the World Jurist Association (WJA) celebrated on February 25, 2021 the Opening Session Strasbourg of the World Law Congress Colombia 2021, focused on the importance of the Rule of Law in protecting minors in vulnerable situations, while maintaining their human dignity. Javier Cremades, president of the WJA and the World Law Foundation, opened the webinar by emphasizing that this is a very important area for the society, acknowledging that “if the rule of law is anthropocentric, the protection of families and children is essential”.

Under the title “The International Protection of Families and Children”, María Eugenia Gay, president of the WJA Spain and dean of the Barcelona Bar Association, moderated this debate in which Silvia Giménez-Salinas, president of the FBE, assured that “from its beginnings, the protection of children provided the administration with the necessary speed to protect a child immediately in the face of abuse or negligence, as we cannot allow procedural deadlines to harm them”. Along these lines, she pointed out that “family law and the protection of children has advanced thanks to European regulations”. However, she acknowledged that each State has its own independent regulations and has its own family law.

The same situation occurs in the United States where family law is statutory: “There is no American divorce law, for example,” acknowledges Pamela M. Sloan, chair of the NYC Bar Association’s Matrimonial Law Committee and Council at the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL), who assured that, during these processes, children are given a voice. “The lawyer’s job is to advocate for the interests of the child, they have a confidential relationship, and the child does not have to be present at court because the judge can question them outside,” she said.

For her part, Dominique Attias, first vice-president of the FBE, was concerned about the cause of ghost children and wanted to pay special attention to these minors who are not registered, since, as she pointed out, “every minor must be registered at birth to have a legal identity”. Adding that “children whose birth is not registered do not exist in the eyes of their country’s governments, complicating access to their rights, health and education, which could even be denied to them”.

International child abduction is another problem related to the protection of children. Ignacio Goicoechea, representative of the Regional Office of the Hague Conference for Latin America and the Caribbean (ROLAC), called for “less rhetoric and more effective protection” to solve this issue since, he stressed, “what children need is to be protected”. Carolina Marín Pedreño, vice-president of the IAFL and former president of the Westminster and Holborn Bar Association (UK), also referred to this issue, pointing out that “the Hague Convention is a very good instrument to comply with the need for a child to be returned to his or her country of origin after having been abducted”. In addition, she highlighted the training of lawyers and recognized that “on occasions, we see children who have not been returned because the parent has declared that he or she is not aware of the existence of treaties that solve the situation”. In this sense, Diana Hamade, a lawyer from the United Arab Emirates and member of the IAFL, pointed out that “in many countries there are deficiencies when a parent takes a child away and the child is not returned to the other parent”.

Regarding child marriage, Dilia Leticia Jorge Mera, Vice Minister of Innovation, Transparency and Citizen Services of the Dominican Republic, stated that “it is a real situation of violation of human rights, since child marriage is carried out without the consent of children and adolescents, who are coerced by their families or by the social environment around them”. She also pointed out that “Dominican Republic and Nicaragua occupy the first place in Latin America with 8,000 minor girls and teenagers married between 2001 and 2019”.

For Pakistani lawyer Sulema Jahangir, member of the IAFL, the global culture of justice and equality could be used in benefit of minors in Pakistan where “judges try to help families and advance laws that are fairer for women”. She also highlighted the goal “to improve the lives of hundreds of women and families in Muslim countries”.

For Daniela Horvitz, president of AIJUDEFA (International Association of Family Lawyers) and governor general of the IAFL, giving children, young people and families the protection needed, also implies “an imperative need to standardize basic principles in relation to family law”.

This meeting has served as preview of the family law topics that will be discussed during the World Law Congress Colombia 2021, which will celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Colombian Constitution. Through the projection of an institutional video, the president of the host country, Iván Duque, has committed to “continue promoting the strength of the rule of law as fertile ground to allow growth and welfare, development and freedom of citizens” and has 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/FmXQmqcK1No

SUMMARY SESSION: https://youtu.be/VFRoBUU4Sn4

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’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.