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Inter-American Juridical Committee - August 2014

Conclusion of the 85th Regular Session of the Inter-American Juridical Committee


The 85th Regular Session of the Committee ended last Friday, August 8, at the Committee´s headquarters in the city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Inter-American Juridical Committee (IAJC)

During the session, the Committee members adopted a report on the topic “Alternatives for the regulation on the use of psychotropic narcotic substances, as well as for the prevention of pharmacodependence”. The document in question will be forwarded shortly to the Permanent Council. The Committee also made progress in the discussions in several areas, such as “Migratory management in bilateral relations”, “The law applicable to international contracts” and “Immunity of States and international organizations”.

In relation to the new themes addressed by the Committee, Dr. Carlos Mata Prates was appointed rapporteur for the topic on “protection of stateless persons”, according to the mandate proposed by the General Assembly convened for June 2014. The topic requires the drafting of a “Guide for the Protection of Stateless Persons”. In addition, Dr. Hernán Salinas was appointed rapporteur for the topic “Strengthening Representative Democracy in the Americas”, a theme aimed to update the achievements of the Committee in that area in order to provide a response to the most recent needs of the OAS.

Finally, the Committee adopted two “homage” resolutions meant to recognize the work carried out by Drs. Fernando Gómez Mont Urueta and Hyacinth Evadne Lyndsay, whose mandates come to an end in December of this year.

Regarding the program of meetings of the Committee, the members received the visit of Brazilian academicians Nadia de Araújo and Lauro Gama. There was also a very valuable exchange of information among members of international courts, namely Judge Ronny Abraham from the International Court of Justice and also Chairman Sang-Hyun Song of the International Criminal Court, who explained the operation, mandates and relevant jurisprudence of each institution. In the area of Stateless Persons, the Committee received visits from Juan Carlos Murillo and Juan Ignacio Mondelli from the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), who explained the initiatives taken to celebrate the Cartagena Declaration on Refugees, in addition to showing their willingness to cooperate with the Committee in drafting the Guide on the Protection of Stateless Persons.

The presence during the session of the Organization´s Secretary General, Mr. José Miguel Insulza, should also be highlighted. Mr. Insulza conversed with the members of the Committee on legal topics of interest to the organization, and also strengthened the links of the Juridical Committee with the General Secretariat.

During the working session of Thursday, August 7, the new head officers of the Committee were elected. The newly elected Chairman is Mr. Fabián Novak Talavera, with Dr. Carlos Mata Prates as Vice-Chairman; both positions have a two-year term, by virtue of the provisions of Article 10 of the Statute of the Committee.

The Inter-American Juridical Committee (IAJC) is the consultative organ of the Organization of American States on juridical matters by virtue of the provisions of the OAS Charter and is made up of eleven jurist nationals of Member States who are elected for a four-year term.

Currently, the Committee members are: Fabián Novak Talavera (Peru, Chairman), Carlos Mata Prates (Uruguay, Vice-Chairman), João Clemente Baena Soares (Brazil), Ana Elizabeth Villalta Vizcarra (El Salvador), David P. Stewart (United States), Hyacinth Evadne Lindsay (Jamaica), Miguel Aníbal Pichardo Olivier (Dominican Republic), Fernando Gómez Mont Urueta (Mexico), José Luis Moreno Guerra (Ecuador), Gélin Imanès Collot (Haiti) and Hernán Salinas Burgos (Chile).

The next session of the Committee will be held from Monday 23 through Friday 27 March, 2015.

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