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PERMANENT COUNCIL OF THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES
SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON INTER-AMERICAN SUMMITS MANAGEMENT

OEA/Ser.G    CE/GCI-35/95
14 November 1995
Original: Spanish

REPORT OF THE WORKING GROUP ON ENHANCEMENT OF THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE IN THE AMERICAS TO THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON INTER-AMERICAN SUMMITS MANAGEMENT

PERMANENT MISSION OF URUGUAY TO THE ORGANIZATION OF AMERICAN STATES

223/95

Washington, November 1, 1995

Her Excellency
Ambassador Harriet C. Babbitt
Permanent Representative of the United States
to the OAS and Chair of the Special Committee on
Inter-American Summits Management
Washington, D.C.

Excellency:

I am pleased to reply to your request for information on the progress made by the Working Group on Enhancement of the Administration of Justice in the Americas, regarding implementation of the Declaration of Principles and the Plan of Action of the Summit of the Americas.

In this connection, it will be recalled, that in resolution AG/RES. 1325 (XXV-O/95), "Enhancement of the Administration of Justice in the Americas," the General Assembly of the OAS, resolved, in Haiti, in June 1995:

To instruct the Permanent Council, through its Working Group on Enhancement of the Administration of Justice in the Americas and in conjunction with the Inter-American Juridical Committee and the General Secretariat, to take the necessary steps to increase awareness and disseminate information in the member states concerning the international rules of law emanating from the Inter-American system and, in particular, from the instruments for which the OAS General Secretariat is depository.

That mandate is aimed at disseminating information on international rules of law and deals with the need to hold information seminars to increase awareness and disseminate information on international rules of law emanating from the inter-American system, in particular the instruments for which the OAS General Secretariat is the depository. Efforts are now being made to have some member state offer to host the above-mentioned seminars, which might be held by region, e.g. Central America, the Caribbean, South America or North America, to comply with that General Assembly mandate.

The second mandate received by the Working Group concerns support for the administration of justice in the Americas, deriving from resolution AG/RES. 1326 (XXV-O/95), which the General Assembly approved:

1. To Instruct the Working Group on Enhancement of the Administration of Justice in the Americas to organize with the General Secretariat and the Inter-American Juridical Committee, within the limits of budgetary availability, regional seminars and workshops, which should be coordinated with national and international institutions involved in this area. These seminars and workshops, in which judges, lawyers, and scholars would participate, would facilitate a better mutual understanding of the administration of justice in the various countries, the aim being to achieve greater legal cooperation in the region.

2. To instruct the Permanent Council to consider, together with the General Secretariat any requests made by the member states to the Organization for assistance in enhancing the administration of justice in their countries and to transmit such requests through the appropriate channels.

We should underscore the importance of this resolution that mandates the organization of workshops and seminars to facilitate better mutual understanding of the administration of justice in the various countries to achieve greater legal cooperation in the region.

We consider that the OAS, as a multilateral organization, should take advantage of its enormous potential to provide assistance in enhancing the administration of justice, and that effort might be coordinated with other institutions such as the Inter-American Development and the World Bank, so as to organize various efforts having the same objective.

Regarding requests the member countries might make to the OAS for help in enhancing the administration of justice, the requesting country will be able to take advantage of the enormous volume of material available to the General Secretariat. Specifically, the Secretariat for Legal Affairs might send experts, whose expenses might be defrayed by the Organization or by a joint fund with other organizations, to help countries that are already making an effort to promote reform of their administration of justice, such as Mexico, Paraguay, Colombia, Uruguay and Haiti, among others. The real problem lies in the fact that the countries are working separately, without coordination, which makes the task more difficult and results in duplication of efforts.

To avoid this, countries that are promoting justice administration reform should contact the OAS to request any academic and technical assistance they need. To that end, the OAS might even fund projects that they organize.

Based on its mandates, the Working Group has considered the following:

1. An offer from the Nicaraguan Delegate for the Central American Court of Justice, headquartered in Managua, to promote one of the regional seminars on dissemination of international rules of law.

2. The Bolivian Delegation suggested that the programs should be coordinated among the institutions of the hemisphere and with parliaments. An institutional committee might be established to coordinate the work of the various institutions to avoid dispersion of efforts.

3. The Brazilian Delegation pointed out the importance of disseminating information on rules of law among member countries. It added that the General Secretariat offices in the member countries should be invited to participate in that effort, along with bar associations, parliaments, etc. It also suggested holding a seminar on "The Structure of Justice," which would discuss existing projects in the countries to enhance the legal system, and restructure the judiciary pyramid.

Based on those mandates and implementation of them through the specific initiatives noted, this Working Group has provided follow-up on the Summit of the Americas Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action.

Accept, Excellency, the renewed assurances of my highest consideration,

/s/ Dr. Julio César Jaureguy
Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Uruguay to the OAS
Chair of the Working Group on Enhancement of the Administration of Justice in the Americas


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