Organization of American States


December 7, 2001




            Experts on public and private international law in the Americas are to meet in Mexico on December 11-14, 2001 to analyze current legal issues, exchange ideas on actions to be undertaken, strengthen academic ties, and promote studies of inter-American law. 

            The Workshops on International Law have been convened by the Department of International Law of the Organization of American States (OAS) and by the Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), through the Institute of Legal Research (Instituto de Investigaciones Jurídicas).  

            Among other topics, the experts will examine the outlook for the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, refuge in Latin America, trends in international commercial arbitration, the rights of indigenous peoples, the prospects for free trade in the Americas, and protection of women.  Also to be reviewed are topics related to extradition, torture, the international restitution of minors, adoption, democracy, and terrorism. 

Academics from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Paraguay, Peru, the United States, Uruguay, and Venezuela, as well as Mexico, will take part in the discussions and the workshops will be inaugurated by the Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs of the OAS, Enrique Lagos, and by the Director of the Institute of Legal Research of UNAM, Diego Valadés. 

Speakers include Augusto Cançado Trindade, of Brazil; José Felix Fernández Estigarribia, of Paraguay; Ronald Herbert, of Uruguay; and René Provost, of Canada, as well as Héctor Fix Zamudio, Sergio García Ramírez, José Luis Siqueiros, Jorge Witker, Alonso Gómez Robledo, and Ricardo Méndez Silva of Mexico. 

            The Workshops on International Law were mandated by the OAS General Assembly of 1997 in Lima, Peru, which adopted the Inter-American Program for the Development of International Law and proposed holding workshops on international law with the participation of high-level jurists and specialists in international law to further the study and development of legal issues in the inter-American system. 

            So far similar workshops have been held in Montevideo, Uruguay and in Córdoba, Argentina, in 1999 and 2000. The upcoming workshops can be accessed via the Internet at: