Tag: World Law Congress 2021

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

Telework at the WLC Opening Session London

Inaugurated by the WJA President for UK, Christina Blacklaws, and Diego Solana, Coordinator of the World Law Congress Colombia 2021, the fifth Opening Session, celebrated from London on December 14, brought together Íñigo Sagardoy, Michael Burd, Renate Hornung-Draus, Daniel Funes de Rioja and Mbhazima Shilowa to discuss about teleworking.

Under the name “New ways of working and the future of work“, this new panel of dicussion focused on how current work trends should be regulated, the key factors for their transformation and the role each stakeholder should play in this field.

“In terms of work, this pandemic has changed everything, everywhere,” said Christina Blacklaws, President of WJA UK, immediate past President of the Law Society of England & Wales and President of Lawtech UK, who recognized that “we are now at the best possible moment to develop technological innovations that will change the way we deliver our services”. Blacklaws also shared data from a British study that “shows that the Covid-19 has accelerated the digital transformation by 5.3 years,” so that “we all know more about technology now than we did eight months ago”.

We are at the best time to learn technological innovations that will change the way we work

The debate began with the moderation of Iñigo Sagardoy, co-organizer of the event, president of Sagardoy Abogados and professor of labor law at the Universidad Francisco de Vitoria, who introduced the speakers after analyzing that “coronavirus has accelerated the transformation of organizations and we are at a turning point from which there will be significant regulatory changes in the ways in which companies are organized.

This scenario is confirmed by Renate Hornung-Draus, regional vice-president of the International Organization of Employers for Europe and Central Asia, who assured that “although the measures taken in most western countries to contain the pandemic have accelerated the digital transformation, they have also shown some deficits in the digital infrastructure, as well as its limits”. She advocates for a hybrid model of work with physical presence in the offices, in order to create corporate culture, but always respecting individual freedom. In this matter, she pointed out the difference between teleworking and mobile working, assuring that Germany has legislation on the former: “teleworking refers to a person working from home, it is at a distance, but in a fixed workplace; and it implies that there has to be an agreement between employee and employer by which the rules are respected”.

Michael Burd, head of the employment division at Lewis Silkim (London) and an expert in telework regulation, examined how labor regulation has evolved over the years: “what we see is that legislation and regulation are lagging behind the reality of work”, and acknowledged that “the feeling I have is that it has only increased with the evolution of technology, which is increasingly rapid, and has become more intense with the changes in work practices that have forced us all to change our way of working”. For this reason, and in the event that a worker remotely provides services from another country different from that of the company, he called for “legislation that contemplates key points, such as where to pay taxes, health insurance conditions, social security…” and concluded by recognizing “that local labor legislation in some cases complicates solving the global nature of this type of work”.

With regard to the regulation and negotiation of conditions, Daniel Funes de Rioja, vice president of the International Labor Organization and president of the Argentine Business Confederation, said that “unions must adapt to new realities and contemplate the changes from the perspective of the fourth industrial revolution, otherwise, if they continue thinking in terms of the second or third, technology will evolve without them and a gap will emerge”.

On this matter, Mbhazima Shilowa, former Secretary General of the Congress of South African Trade Unions and former Prime Minister of the South African province of Gauteng, set the current situation as a starting point “to find in the upcoming years better ways to combine different aspects such as, for example, the penetration of the Internet in all places”.

Social distance and flexibility are required, but this will not be possible without quickly resolving the social difference“.

Among the changes brought about by Covid-19, there is a debate about the vaccine and how it can affect workers’ relationship with their company. Michael Burd highlighted whether employers can demand their employees to be vaccinated or terminate them for not doing so.

Medical data is considered sensitive information and this will lead to searching for a balance between privacy and security for everyone… This is about protecting health at a collective level“.

The Opening Session London was the fifth preliminary session to the World Law Congress Colombia 2021, coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the Colombian constitution. Through the projection of an institutional video, the president of the host country, Ivan Duque, has committed to “continue promoting the strengthening of the rule of law as fertile ground to allow growth and welfare, development and freedom of citizens”.

FULL SESSION: https://youtu.be/Y8xKC8Xd4X4

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

Opening Session Chile “Transnational Crime and Corruption: Protecting Judicial Independence”

The President of the Supreme Court of Chile, Guillermo Silva Gundelach, participated in the Opening Session Chile of the World Law Congress Colombia 2021, titled ‘Transnational Crime and Corruption: Protecting Judicial Independence’. Silva Gundelach stressed the importance of discussing corruption and the protection of judicial crime, since “if we do not do so, we put our common future at risk”.

The meeting was chaired by Javier Cremades, president of the World Jurist Association and the World Law Foundation, who welcomed the speakers, stressing “how important the independence of judges is, as well as the fight against crime and corruption”. Organizer Diego García-Sayán, UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers and President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (2010-2014), introduced the topic and highlighted its importance since “the strengthening of organized crime networks has generated a new type of challenge and threat to the judicial independence of the powers”.

Leonor Etcheberry, Vice President of the Chilean Bar Association, has been in charge of moderating the debate in which Cheol-Kyu Hwang, President of the World Association of Prosecutors, has defended that “we are doing our best to apply the conventions against corruption” and has pointed out that international cooperation is fundamental, as well as ensuring that prosecutors’ offices work collaboratively beyond the traditional framework. During the discussion, the Attorney General of Spain, Dolores Delgado, bet on the functional and budgetary autonomy of the judiciary and the Public Prosecutor’s Office in order to confront corruption, which she considers “the dirty game of democracy” and highlighted the need to resort to cooperation as the tool to tackle impunity.

María Eugenia Gay, President of the WJA Spain and Dean of the Barcelona Bar Association, ratified the “firm commitment” of the group to make law and the laws the safeguard of citizens’ rights. As she highlighted, political parties and the different public powers must act with transparency and rigor in favor of society, so that the political formations are capable of redirecting the deviation of power and recovering the institutions they represent, the people, reinforcing the sovereignty of the states. The great challenges ahead demand the development of the structure in which dialogue is the maximum expression of democracy.

In this line, Héctor Humeres Noguer, President of the Chilean Bar Association, assured that “it is the responsibility of all the powers and ministries, in addition to the bar associations, to contribute to the prevention, eradication and information about the dangers of corruption and the forms in which it may appear”. For Humeres Noguer, “corruption can deteriorate the basis of a country causing severe damage to society, because the corruption that falls on the administration of justice affects the guarantee of human rights protection”.

Jorge Abbott Charme, National Prosecutor of Chile and President of the Ibero-American Association of Public Prosecutors, believes in the autonomy and independence of public prosecutors’ offices and promotes the use of international cooperation tools. During the debate, Luz Ibáñez, Judge of the International Criminal Court, recognized that “the problem of corruption and judicial independence does not respond to the individual conduct of judges, but rather it is a structural problem and therefore the response must be holistic and structural”.

In his intervention, José Igreja Matos, Vice President of the International Union of Judges, explained that it is always clear that the domestication of judges is a fundamental tool to promote impunity, and he highlighted the role of the multiple institutions that play a decisive role in the defense of the rule of law. “Difficult times demand a firm and courageous voice from international institutions”.

Roberta Solis, Judicial Integrity Team Leader from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, closed the debate, stressing that “support among judges is fundamental because it helps prevent judicial corruption.

This Opening Session was the second session prior to the World Congress of Law to be celebrated in Cartagena de Indias on November 17-18, 2021. The President of Colombia, Iván Duque, participated in this session via institutional video, in which he assured that his country “receives this congress as recognition to the efforts of the Colombian society to defend the rule of law as a guarantor of freedom, order, peace and harmony”.

FULL SESSION: https://youtu.be/7F5jNVq1KDU

SUMMARY SESSION: https://youtu.be/YzuKod1v6sI

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».

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

SUMMARY SESSION: https://youtu.be/qtjiYh1Uzm4