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What are the Meetings of Ministers of Justice or Other Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas (REMJA)?

  October 14, 2015

The REMJA is the policy and technical forum at the hemispheric level on matters related to justice and international legal cooperation, the exchange of experiences, coordination of public policies and the consolidation of the rule of law in the Americas.
It is a mechanism for hemispheric cooperation within the framework of the OAS that allows for direct and horizontal cooperation between member states. Although it takes place every two years, the REMJA process is continuous and involves a series of activities, meetings of working groups, the execution of various initiatives and training activities, and the continuous consolidation of internet portals for the dissemination of information.

What have been the main achievements of the REMJA?

• The creation of the Center for Justice Studies in the Americas (CEJA), with its headquarters in Santiago, Chile, which has as its objectives: facilitate the training of human resources; the exchange of information and technical cooperation; and providing support in the reform and modernization of the justice systems of the region.

• The creation of the Network of Legal Cooperation on Penal Issues, which has served to improve the exchange of information between states and which includes a system of electronic communication between the responsible authorities on the issue in real time that has been used to ease the processing of penal cases.

• Legal Cooperation on crimes related to computers and other electronic equipment: through the REMJA the national legal frameworks have been strengthened in the fight against cyber crime, as well as the prevention, investigation and sentencing of these crimes and the exchange of information and experiences on the issue. This thanks to a training program on cyber crime which has served more than one thousand five hundred investigators, attorneys general, judges and magistrates.

• On these issues, the REMJA has strengthened international cooperation through the promotion of a timely, effective and efficient processing of these crimes and the promotion of model laws and guides on the issue.

Why is REMJA X important?

At the meeting in Bogota, concrete recommendations are expected in order for states to move forward and continue to implement reforms for an effective modernization of justice while considering matters such as:

• The evaluation of their justice systems’ performance in criminal, civil, labor, and administrative litigation areas to identify what needs to be corrected or improved.

• The management adequacy of judicial offices to the principles of inclusion, transparency, accessibility, efficiency, and equity.
• The use of new technologies to simplify, facilitate and expedite the administration of justice, through judicial or extrajudicial means, such as online legal services, virtual tools for communication and conflict resolution between parties, holding of virtual hearings, electronic notifications and “electronic records.”

• The implementation of measures to bring justice closer to citizens, such as public defenders, justices of the peace, mobile courts, judicial equity conciliators and facilitators.

• The support for the adoption of a “Protocol to the Inter-American Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters related to the Use of New Communication Technologies and Hearings by Videoconference.”

• Concrete recommendations to strengthen international legal cooperation in the Americas in the various areas of law, such as criminal, civil, labor, administrative litigation, commercial and family and children law.

• The strengthening of cooperation and the exchange of national experiences within the framework of the inter-American system with regards to family and children law, in such areas as adoption, return of minors, and child support.


The first meeting of REMJA took place in Buenos Aires in December 1997 and it concluded, among others, on the opportunity and importance of continuing to hold regularly these meetings.

The subsequent meetings of REMJA took place in Lima, Peru, in 1999 (REMJA II); San José, Costa Rica, in 2000 (REMJA III); Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, in 2002 (REMJA IV); at OAS headquarters in Washington, D.C., in 2004 (REMJA V); Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, in 2006 (REMJA VI); Washington, D.C., in 2008 (REMJA VII); Brasilia, Brazil, in 2010 (REMJA VIII); and Quito, Ecuador, in 2012 (REMJA IX).

Reference: S-036/15