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March 2019

Inter-American Juridical Committee holds
ninety-fourth regular session

Inter-American Juridical Committee holds ninety-fourth regular session

The Inter-American Juridical Committee (CJI) held its ninety-fourth regular session at its headquarters in Rio de Janeiro from February 18 to 22.

During the session, the CJI unanimously adopted a “Declaration on the Situation in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,” (document CJI/DEC. 01 (XCIV-O/19)) which considers that the “humanitarian assistance sent to the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela does not infringe the principle of non-intervention in the domestic matters of States” and that “the current crisis in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela constitutes a grave alteration of the democratic order that must be resolved as soon as possible.”

The CJI also adopted its “Guide to the Law Applicable to International Commercial Contracts in the Americas,” which will be published shortly and transmitted to the political bodies of the OAS for their information and consideration. The guide was the product of hard work and broad consultation among experts on the subject. In view of the ongoing disparities in the law applicable to international commercial contracts in the region’s countries, the purpose of the guide is to advance important aspects in this area in order to promote legal harmonization in the region and stimulate economic integration, growth, and development in the Hemisphere.

At the opportunity, the OAS Department of International Law (DIL) submitted a report on the results of a broad consultation that it carried out throughout 2018 with the aim of gathering input for a “Model Law 2.0 on Access to Public Information,” as instructed by the OAS General Assembly. The DIL reported that although there were a number of issues that had yet to be ironed out, it was in a position to present a draft whose articles covered the topics of active transparency, exceptions, archive management, the preamble, and concluding provisions of the Model Law 2.0. It also said that the draft was couched in gender-aware language, so that it might be one of the first legal instruments of the inter-American system in which a gender perspective was included from inception. The CJI will begin its work on the subject on the basis of these inputs.

There were a number of other ongoing topics with which significant progress was made during the session, including the validity of foreign judicial decisions; binding and non-binding agreements; cybersecurity; electronic warehouse receipts for agricultural products; guidelines for applying the conventionality principle; and protection of personal data.

The CJI decided that it would hold its ninety-fifth regular session at its headquarters in Rio de Janeiro from July 31 to August 9, 2019. For that meeting, the CJI decided that it would keep two items on its agenda in addition to the aforementioned topics: foreign interference in a state’s electoral process and dissolution and liquidation of simplified corporations.

The CJI is one of the advisory bodies to the OAS on juridical matters. Its purpose is to promote the progressive development and codification of international law and to examine the possibility of harmonizing the legislation of the countries of the region. The Department of International Law of the OAS Secretariat for Legal Affairs serves as the Technical Secretariat of the CJI.   

For further information on this matter, please contact the Department of International Law of the OAS – Technical Secretariat of the Inter-American Juridical Committee +1 202 370 0743. 

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