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September 2018

Inter-American Juridical Committee holds its 93rd Regular Session and adopts a “Practical Application Guide on the Jurisdictional Immunities of International Organizations”

Comité Jurídico Interamericano celebra Reunión Conjunta con Consultores Jurídicos de las Cancillerías de los Estados miembros de la OEA

The Inter-American Juridical Committee (CJI), at its most recent Regular Session, held in August 2018, adopted a “Practical Application Guide on the Jurisdictional Immunities of International Organizations” to serve as input for international organizations in their juridical relations with host States and actors involved in the negotiation of future headquarters agreements, and for advance resolution of any disputes in this area that might arise in the region. For the Guide, the CJI took into consideration the best practices followed by States, international organizations, and international and domestic courts in relation to the immunity of international organizations, for incorporation in the Guide of those elements it deemed relevant.  

The Practical Guide contains the following 10 guidelines: the legal basis for the jurisdictional immunity of international organizations; the objective, scope, and limits of jurisdictional immunities; means of dispute resolution; characteristics of dispute resolution mechanisms; observance of the domestic legal system; appearance before national courts; immunity from enforcement; and waiver of jurisdictional immunity.

The CJI forwarded the above-mentioned document to the Permanent Council for its consideration by the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs, and recommended that it consider referring it to the General Assembly of the Organization.

During that Regular Session, the CJI also continued its deliberations on other items on its agenda, such as the law applicable to international contracts, the guide for the application of the principle of conventionality, binding and non-binding agreements, and the validity of foreign judicial decisions. By mandate of the General Assembly at its regular session of last June, the CJI incorporated two new items: protection of personal data and electronic warehouse receipts for agricultural products. In point of fact, the General Assembly requested the CJI to begin to update the principles on the protection of personal data, taking account of developments in this area, and to update the Principles for Electronic Warehouse Receipts for Agricultural Products, in light of new developments regarding access to agricultural credit since the adoption of the Principles by the CJI of in 2016. The CJI also included on its agenda, at its own initiative, topics such as cyber security, foreign interference in a state’s electoral process, response thereto under international law, and dissolution and liquidation of the simplified corporation. Regarding the latter topic, in 2017, the General Assembly took note of the Model Law on the Simplified Corporation, adopted earlier by the CJI, and, in view of this, the CJI decided to take up the consideration of aspects related to the dissolution and liquidation of this type of corporation.   

Following a broad convocation, the CJI also held a joint meeting with the legal advisors of the foreign ministries of ten OAS member state: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Haiti, Mexico, Peru, United States, and Uruguay. The CJI holds this type of meeting every two years for joint identification with legal advisors of topics of interest to the region in the areas of public and private international law, for potential codification and progressive development by this organ.  

Meanwhile, the CJI held a meeting with participation by representatives of the Hague Conference on Private International Law to evaluate work methods, coordinate its efforts with those of that institution to avoid duplication and to determine added value the region might provide to global efforts to codify and disseminate private international law. It also met again with representatives of the African Union Commission on International Law, with which it has been cooperating to share experiences and information on the development of international law.  

Lastly, at this Regular Session, the CJI elected its new officers, electing as its Chair Dr. Ruth Correa Palacio, of Colombia, and as Vice-Chair, Dr. Luis García-Corrochano, of Peru, who will serve in said capacities for a two year term.  

The Inter-American Juridical Committee is an OAS advisory body on juridical matters. Its purpose is to promote the progressive development and codification of international law and to study the possibility of attaining uniformity in the legislation of the countries of the Hemisphere. The Department of International Law (DIL) of the Secretariat for Legal Affairs of the OAS serves as the Technical Secretariat of the CJI.  

» Ver el informe de la VII sesión conjunta del Comité Jurídico Interamericano con los consultores jurídicos de los Estados miembros de la OEA.

» Ver el informe de la Sesión conjunta con representantes de la Conferencia de la Haya de Derecho Internacional Privado.  

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. 

» To obtain more information about the Committee, click on this link

» For additional information about the Department, please visit our Website


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