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May 2019

“A Day at the OAS”
Joint event with American Bar Association – Section of International Law

American Bar Association: A Day at the OAS

On April 9th, the Department of International Law (DIL) of the Secretariat for Legal Affairs organized a joint event with the American Bar Association (ABA) Section of International Law entitled “A Day at the OAS” to consider current legal issues of common interest in the Americas. This was the first event pursuant to the Cooperation Agreement (2017) between the OAS General Secretariat and the ABA to promote the rule of law and the development of international law within the inter-American system. After welcoming remarks by Robert Brown, ABA Section Chair, and Dante Negro, DIL Director, two panel discussions were held with experts from the ABA and from across the OAS General Secretariat.

The first panel considered the Guide on the Law Applicable to International Commercial Contracts in the Americas recently approved by the Inter-American Juridical Committee (CJI). Presentations about the Guide and its development were made by former CJI member, David Stewart, Professor, Georgetown University Law Centre and Jeannette Tramhel, DIL Senior Legal Officer, who acknowledged comments on the draft Guide that had been provided by the ABA Section during its development. Remarks then were made by two ABA Section members - Judith Wilson of Bryan, Gonzalez Vargas & Gonzalez Baz, S.C. (Mexicali, Mexico) and Eduardo Benavides of Berninzon & Benavides (Lima, Peru) – who provided views on the Guide from the perspective of the practitioner. The panel was moderated by incoming ABA Section Chair, Joe Raia, of Gunster (Miami, Florida).

The second panel included presentations on three different topics to provide the audience with an overview of the kinds of legal issues in a variety of subject areas that arise at the OAS on a regular basis. The first presentation on cyber-security was made by Barbara Marchiori de Assis, a Brazilian attorney and Cybersecurity Program Officer with the Secretariat of the Inter-American Committee Against Terrorism. She explained her work in support of the development of National Cybersecurity Strategies (NCS) of a number of OAS Member States. The next presentation was given by Claudia de Windt, an international environmental lawyer and political science expert from the Dominican Republic, now serving in the Secretariat for Multidimensional Security. She outlined a range of environmental legal issues in the context of regional security. The next presentation was by Miryan Hazan, migration policy expert with the Department of Social Inclusion, Secretariat for Access to Rights and Equity, who outlined key legal instruments that impact migration in the region. The panel was moderated by the former ABA Section Chair, Marcelo Bambau, of Bomchil (Buenos Aires, Argentina).

The event illustrated the cross-cutting nature of international law and its foundation for the four-pronged approach used by the OAS to promote democracy, defend human rights, ensure multidimensional security, and foster development. It also evidenced the spirit of cooperation within the OAS General Secretariat and the importance of collaboration with entities such as the American Bar Association to promote the development of international law within the Americas. 

» Event Photo Gallery

For further information on this matter, please contact the Department of International Law of the Secretariat for Legal Affairs of the OAS +1 202 370 0743.

» For additional information about the Department of International Law (DIL), please visit our Website


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