Tag: Worldjurist

Por qué las elecciones en Venezuela no son válidas

Javier Cremades, abogado y Presidente de la World Jurist Association

Johann Kriegler*

Resulta paradójico que el mismo día que los españoles celebramos el cuadragésimo segundo aniversario de nuestra Carta Magna, sus principios democráticos y los valores de convivencia, en Venezuela tuvieron lugar unas elecciones fraudulentas y contrarias a Derecho convocadas por Nicolás Maduro. Esta calificación no es fruto de la mera reflexión de los juristas que aquí firman, sino del dictamen de más de 1000 juristas de 40 países. En efecto, la Asociación Mundial de Juristas (World Jurist Association), con sede en Washington, presentó el pasado viernes un dictamen en el que denunciamos que las elecciones parlamentarias en Venezuela carecen de las garantías necesarias contempladas en el derecho internacional para considerarlas unas elecciones válidas y ajustadas al Estado de Derecho. Por este motivo, esta votación no ha sido reconocido por la Unión Europea ni por la Organización de los Estados Americanos como un proceso electoral valido.

Este dictamen jurídico es una advertencia a toda la opinión pública mundial del fraude que intenta cometer Nicolás Maduro deshaciéndose de los molestos miembros de la Asamblea Nacional elegidos por el pueblo venezolano de forma legítima en el año 2015. Habiendo despreciado previamente sus funciones básicas, ahora el régimen de Nicolás Maduro directamente y al margen del pueblo venezolano pretende poner a sus más afines también en la Asamblea Nacional. Conforme concluye el dictamen internacional de juristas, esa votación está controlado exclusivamente por el ilegitimo poder ejecutivo e incumple las garantías básicas exigidas en el derecho internacional para calificarlas como válidas.

Ante la ausencia de protección de la seguridad personal y patrimonial de otros candidatos, sin unas normas claras para el ejercicio del derecho de voto o ante continuas lesiones a la libertad de asociación, reunión o expresión, unas elecciones infringen los derechos humanos y el derecho de sufragio. Y todas estas circunstancias concurren hoy en día en Venezuela. La constatación de esta situación se desprende de multitud de hechos recogidos en la Declaración Internacional de Juristas, de la que nos gustaría destacar los siguientes. El Tribunal Supremo de Justicia de Venezuela, controlado por Nicolás Maduro desde 2016, en violación de la propia Constitución Bolivariana permitió al Consejo Nacional Electoral modificar de forma arbitraria las leyes del proceso electoral y eliminar el voto universal, directo y secreto para la elección de los diputados representantes de los pueblos indígenas.

La declaración jurídica fue presentada en la casa de todos los abogados, el Consejo General de la Abogacía Española, en un acto en el que estuvieron presentes, entre otros, Marie-Aimeé Peyron, Presidenta del Colegio de Abogados de París (2017-2019), Viviane Reding, Vicepresidenta de la Comisión Europea y Comisaria de Justicia (2010-2014), Peter N.C. Umeadi, profesor y Magistrado Emérito de Nigeria, David Mills, Catedrático de Derecho de Stanford Law School o el Doctor Augusto Trujillo, Presidente de la Academia Colombiana de Jurisprudencia.

En compañía de Leopoldo López y el Presidente Juan Guaidó, particularmente significativa fue la intervención de la probablemente máxima autoridad mundial en procesos electorales, el Juez Kriegler. Como eminente jurista y magistrado sudafricano, fue Presidente de la Comisión Electoral Independiente en 1993 y garantizó en colaboración con Nelson Mandela las primeras elecciones con sufragio universal en su país. Como actor clave en la transición del dictatorial régimen del Apartheid de su país hacía una verdadera democracia, Johann Kriegler nos enseña que “hoy estamos asistiendo en Venezuela a la evolución de una antigua democracia hacía el reforzamiento de una dictadura”.

Sin entrar a valorar cuestiones políticas ajenas al análisis legal, lo cierto es que todos estos juristas concluimos que conforme a los datos contrastados y ante la ausencia de las garantías políticas y jurídicas básicas, la votación celebrada ayer en Venezuela es invalida y no puede calificarse como una elección democrática de los miembros de la Asamblea Nacional. Ante esta situación, la consecuencia legal es clara e implacable, la legitimidad de la actual Asamblea Nacional de Venezuela debe preservarse para garantizar la protección de los Derechos Humanos en el país. Y esta legitimidad deberá prorrogarse y mantenerse en el tiempo mientras en Venezuela no puedan celebrarse unas elecciones libres y respetuosas con los principios generales de la democracia y la Declaración Universal de Derechos Humanos.

*Magistrado Emérito del Tribunal Constitucional de Sudáfrica y Presidente de la Comisión Electoral Independiente de 1993

Related links:

Por qué las elecciones en Venezuela no son válidas (ElNacional.com)

Por qué las elecciones en Venezuela no son válidas (El Español)

¿Por qué las elecciones en Venezuela no son válidas? (ElTiempo.com)

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

The President of Colombia, Iván Duque, opened the World Law Congress 2021

The President of Colombia, Iván Duque, chaired the online opening ceremony of the 27th edition of the World Law Congress, organized by the World Law Foundation and the World Jurist Association. He participated through an institutional video in which he acknowledged that “it is an honor for Colombians to host this congress in recognition for the efforts of the Colombian society to defend the Rule of Law as a guarantor of freedom, order, peace and harmony, precisely as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Colombian Constitution of 1991, and the bicentennial of the promulgation of the Constitution of Cucuta”.

Duque underlined the relevance of the World Law Congress and shoed the importance of “strengthening these valuable dialogues and reflections”, as well as applauding the “innovative” design of this on-going congress that will be carried out through fourteen Opening Sessions “aiming to promoting the strength of the Rule of Law, as fertile ground to allow growth and well-being, development and freedom for our citizens”.

Looking ahead to November 17 and 18, 2021, the date on which the congress will be held in Colombia, the president has sent “my most sincere welcome to our country, where we will continue working to build a better future for all, based on the strength and guarantees of the Rule of Law.

The Colombian Minister of Justice and Law, Margarita Cabello, also took part in the presentation of WLC 2021 and coincided with the President of her country in recognizing the enthusiasm of hosting the World Law Congress: “It is a tribute and recognition of the effort that Colombia and we Colombians are making in the struggle to strengthen the rule of law as a guarantee of freedom, peace, order and democracy”. His counterpart in Spain, the Minister of Justice Juan Carlos Campo, recognized that “we must endeavor to organize seminars as essential as this one, creating an extensive network of jurists who contribute to strengthening the separation of powers, judicial independence, the defense of human rights, pluralism, equality and freedom at all costs”.

In view of these words, Javier Cremades, President of the World Law Foundation and the World Jurist Association, reinforces that this congress, in its entirety, “wants to be recognition by the international legal community of the commitment of Colombian society to build and consolidate a society of opportunities, freer and fairer for all”.

The President of the WJA Spain and Dean of the Barcelona Bar Association, Mª Eugenia Gay, who hosted the opening ceremony, stressed that “the latest challenges that have arisen have shown the importance of countries working together, because there are problems that go beyond borders and need the commitment of governments and civil society”. As Manuel Aragón, academic director of the WLC and emeritus judge of the Spanish Constitutional Court, said, “We can only come out of this crisis if we, jurists, do not forget that the Rule of Law is a demand that we can never renounce to”.

Will the rule of law survive in Europe?

The 27th World Congress of Law has launched a new format in which 14 online sessions will be held as prelude to the most important international legal event. The first of these, under the name “Will the Rule of Law survive in Europe?” was moderated by Viviane Reding, Vice President of the World Law Foundation and former vice-president of the European Commission. Other speakers included Hanna Suchoka, Founding Trustee of the World Law Foundation and prime minister of Poland (1992-1993), François Biltgen, judge of the European Court of Justice and minister for various portfolios, Rainer Arnold, member of the Advisory Council of the World Law Foundation and professor at the University of Regensburg, Marie-Aimée Peyron, Dean of the Paris Bar Association (2017-2019) and Andre Alen, President of the Belgian Constitutional Court.

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

U.S. Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg presented with World Peace & Liberty Award

The Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, was presented with the World Peace & Liberty Award by the World Jurist Association and the World Law Foundation on Friday, February 7 at the American Bar Association. As the second woman nominated to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Ginsburg was chosen in recognition of her contributions to gender equality and civil rights.

“Judges are human, and the natural state of humankind is imperfection. But despite our fallibility, it is our sacred charge to uphold the law and to administer justice fairly to all persons, no matter how powerful or small. In the years remaining to me on the United States Supreme Court bench, I will strive to do just that,” Justice Ginsburg said in accepting the award.

Javier Cremades, President of the World Jurist Association and the World Law Foundation, said, “Throughout her life, Justice Ginsburg has championed gender equality and civil rights. We are excited to recognize her exceptional achievements and honor her unfailing commitment to strengthening the rule of law.”

The World Peace & Liberty Award recognizes world leaders who have excelled in promoting peace through law. The distinction is a testament of society’s gratitude and support for the recipient’s unwavering commitment to uphold the Rule of Law, thus guaranteeing freedom. Throughout its history, and as a precursor to the World Law Foundation, the World Jurist Association has awarded individuals such as Sir Winston Churchill, René Cassin and Nelson Mandela. Last year, the King of Spain, Felipe VI received the award at the World Law Congress in Madrid.

The award ceremony for Justice Ginsburg took place at the American Bar Association in Washington D.C. “The American Bar Association will forever be grateful for Justice Ginsburg’s outstanding public service and her numerous, continuing contributions on behalf of equal justice for all under the rule of law,” ABA President Judy Perry Martinez said at the ceremony.

Related links:

World Peace & Liberty Award a Magistrada de la Corte Suprema de EEUU Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Eventos Jurídicos).

Ginsburg to present award named for her to philanthropist (Legal News)

`World Peace & Liberty Award´ a Magistrada de la Corte Suprema de EEUU Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Lawyerpress)

Ginsburg to Present Award Named for Her to Philanthropist (The New York Times)

Ginsburg to Present Award Named for Her to Philanthropist (U.S. News)

Javier Cremades entrega el “World Peace & Liberty Award” a la juez de la Corte Suprema de EE.UU. Ruth Bader Ginsburg (ConfiLegal)

La juez Ruth Bader Ginsburg: una pionera de la igualdad de género (El Mundo)

`World Peace & Liberty Award´ a Magistrada de la Corte Suprema de EEUU Ruth Bader Ginsburg (Law&Trends)

Ginsburg expresses hope amid a Senate she thinks is ‘divided sharply’ (The Hill)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Senate exemplifies trend of sticking with ‘one’s own home crowd’ (W Top)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Senate exemplifies trend of sticking with ‘one’s own home crowd’ (Head Topics)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Senate exemplifies trend of sticking with ‘one’s own home crowd’ (CNN Politics)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Senate exemplifies trend of sticking with ‘one’s own home crowd’ (ABC 17 News)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg ganó el premio “World Peace & Liberty Award” (Cambio 16)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: Senate exemplifies trend of sticking with ‘one’s own home crowd’ (ktvz)

Ginsburg to present award named for her to philanthropist (Ap News)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Magistrada de la Corte Suprema de EEUU, Premio Mundial a la Paz y la Libertad de la Asociación Mundial de Juristas (Economist Jurist)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Premio Mundial a la Paz y la Libertad de la Asociación Mundial de Juristas (Lawyer Press)


COP25 in Madrid: Dialogues on Law and Climate Emergency

Law as a tool for citizens to fight against climate change

The World Jurist Association and the World Law Foundation organized the ‘Dialogues on Law and Climate Emergency’ on the occasion of the 25º UN Climate Summit. On December 4 & 5, 2019, experts in environmental and energy law analyzed how law can serve society in its fight against climate change.

The first meeting was held at the Green Zone of the UN Climate Summit COP25 in IFEMA. It was led by Javier Cremades, president of the organizing institutions, who said that law is the instrument that society has to face the challenge of climate change. In this regard, Cremades affirmed that “without law we can make little progress and that is why we need the commitment of the whole society, both the fiscal effort and the sense of corporate responsibility, in order to direct the future towards an energy transition that leads us to clean and sustainable energies that make decarbonization a tangible goal”.

Marina Serrano, Of-Coursel of Pérez Llorca, also highlighted the role of jurists in this area. She assured that “they serve society and citizens and, therefore, the environment.” And, in the words of Javier De Cendra Larragán, Dean of IE Law School and Member of the Health and Safety Committee of the International Bar Association, ”climate change has unleashed a cultural debate that requires an adequate framework and regulatory stability for technological development ”.

For Pilar Navarro, partner of Cremades & Calvo-Sotelo Sevilla and former Secretary General of Environment and Climate Change of the Junta de Andalucía, the solution to this problem lies “in regulatory stability, in the multilateral investment court and the application of law global administrative ”. And Navarro hopes to reach an environmental pact “to ensure that the planet will be available and sustainable for the next generations”.  To achieve this, she pointed out that “digitalization and technology, combined with the law, will be the horse on which this new transition to a decarbonized and sustainable world is galloping.”

The second day of Dialogues on Law and Climate Emergency, which took place at the headquarters of the news magazine Cambio16, featured Javier Cremades as moderator of the discussion in which Carlos de Miguel, partner of the Environment Department of Uría Menéndez, pointed out the need to establish “a consensus of price and legal security signals”, in addition to “a greater involvement of the public”, since “there is citizen and business awareness, but perhaps it is lower by the public bodies”.

Isabel Coleto, Co-Founder of Talantia and Professor at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, analyzed the industrial situation with respect to pollution, and indicated that zero waste is possible in business facilities thanks to the investments that are being made, but has not forgotten about small and medium-sized businesses, “so important in Spain as they cannot keep up with the environmental requirements that in recent years have proliferated so much in our country and that imply some insecurity for the end that can wait for them”. And is that “SMEs can barely meet the requirements of the regulator and there is an inconsistency between regulation and industrial reality.”