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March 2024

Inter-American Juridical Committee celebrates its 104th Regular Session in Panama

Inter-American Juridical Committee celebrates its 104th Regular Session in Panama

TThe Inter-American Juridical Committee (CJI) held its 104th regular session from March 11 to 15, 2024, in Panama City at the invitation of the Government of Panama.

The CJI adopted a “Guide on the Law Applicable to International Investment Arbitration” and a report on “Particular customary international law in the context of the Americas,” as part of a twelve-point agenda for the weeklong session.

The “Guide on the Law Applicable to International Investment Arbitration” (document CJI/doc.720/24) identifies international and inter-American instruments, as well as sources of jurisprudence relevant to the applicability of international arbitration. This have given rise to an interdisciplinary discourse on public international law, private international law, and international arbitration in order to better understand the issue, in the absence of a comprehensive and substantive instrument.

Meanwhile, the report on “Particular customary international law in the context of the Americas” (document CJI/doc.719/24) makes it clear that particular customary international law involves two indispensable elements: practice and opinio juris. In addition, it points out that its existence is not presumed but must be proven and may be relevant to the formation of a customary international norm insofar as its underlying acts or omissions are attributable to states.

Taking advantage of the CJI’s visit to Panama City, its members met with Panamanian governmental, diplomatic, and academic officials. At a conference with professors, students, and lawyers, Juridical Committee Chair Dr. George Galindo Bandeira and OAS Secretary for Legal Affairs Dr. Jean-Michel Arrighi discussed the status of the Committee's work and legal developments within the OAS. The Committee members also met with the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Panama Canal Authority, Aristides Royo Sanchez.

The closing ceremony of the regular session of the CJI was led by the Deputy Minister of Multilateral Affairs and Cooperation, Yill Otero. On behalf of Panama were also present the Permanente Representative of Panama to the OAS, Ambassador María del Carmen Roquebert and officials from the Foreign Ministry of that country. In declaring the session adjourned, Committee Chair Dr. Galindo Bandeira read “Resolution expressing appreciation to the Government of Panama” for “successfully organizing and hosting the regular session.”

It is worth noting that CJI members and legal officers of the Committee's Technical Secretariat – the Department of International Law – on March 18 and 19 took part in a “Congress on International Law,” organized with support from the Judicial School of the Higher Institute of the Judiciary of Panama. That event brought together officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Judiciary of Panama, and promoted the Committee's work on: neuroscience, technology and human rights; international law and state cyber operations; party autonomy in international commercial contracts with a weak bargaining party; legal regime for the creation, operation, financing and dissolution of nonprofit civil entities; strengthening the accountability regime in the use of information and communication technologies; and protection of personal data. A presentation was also given on the private international law regime in family law, outlining the role of each party. Both the opening and closing sessions were addressed by justices of Panama's Supreme Court.

The CJI serves an advisory body to the OAS on juridical matters. Its purpose is to promote the progressive development and codification of international law.

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