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Press Release


  May 12, 2004

Alma Montenegro de Fletcher of Panama was sworn in today as a new judge on the Administrative Tribunal of the Organization of American States (OAS). She was elected at the OAS General Assembly in Chile last June, the second woman to be a judge on the Tribunal since it was established.

Speaking at the swearing-in, she said she believes that, “as a legal instrument, not only should the law be used to settle conflicts and disputes but it should also seek out the common good.”

Montenegro de Fletcher went on to state that “as an attorney and judge, I have sought to reconcile the law with justice.” She further expressed the hope that everyone committed to applying and interpreting the rules of law “would bear this in mind” when seeking to convince society that proper application of the law can bring about equity and justice.

The President of the Administrative Tribunal, Lionel Alain Dupuis of Canada, welcomed Alma Montenegro de Fletcher and expressed best wishes as she embarks on her new functions. Among those in attendance at the swearing-in ceremony were Judge Agustín Gordillo; OAS Assistant Secretary for Legal Affairs Enrique Lagos; Tribunal Secretary Reinaldo Rodríguez; and OAS Staff Association President René Gutiérrez.

An independent organ of the OAS, the Administrative Tribunal was established by the General Assembly in 1971 to settle disputes involving General Secretariat staff members. It hears job-related cases, including retirement and pension plan matters.

The Tribunal comprises six members who are elected by the General Assembly to six-year terms and may be re-elected once.

Reference: E-084/04