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October 2020

Chair of the Inter-American Juridical Committee delivers annual report to the fiftieth regular session of the OAS General Assembly

Chair of the Inter-American Juridical Committee delivers annual report to the fiftieth regular session of the OAS General Assembly

The Chair of the Inter-American Juridical Committee, Luis García-Corrochano, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, delivered the OAS advisory body’s usual annual report on international law to the plenary of the General Assembly.

The Chair used the opportunity to announce recent developments in four different areas, underscoring the wide range of issues on the Committee's agenda, involving the codification and progressive development of international law.

Firstly, he spoke about the “Guide to the Law Applicable to International Commercial Contracts in the Americas,” which offers recommendations for legislators, courts, and parties to a contract, the aim being bringing about regional harmonization in this area. This contribution from the Committee has received regional as well as global recognition.

The CJI Chair then turned to the “Proposed Model Law 2.0 on Access to Public Information” that the Committee had prepared pursuant to an OAS General Assembly mandate, seeking, among other things, to make government more transparent; fight corruption; promote open competition, investment, and economic growth; and empower various segments of the population, including the vulnerable. It was one of the first international instruments to incorporate gender mainstreaming into its design, and updated the 2010 Model Law. It should be pointed out that the Committee’s Proposal was adopted by the General Assembly, hence the OAS now has in place a “Model Inter-American Law 2.0 on Access to Public Information.”

Lastly, Dr. García-Corrochano touched on the “Guidelines for Binding and Non-binding Agreements” and the report on “International Law and State Cyber Operations,” both of which were adopted by the Committee this past August. The Guidelines provide a concrete and detailed set of definitions, points of agreement, and best practices for states to use in negotiating, adopting, or implementing different types of international agreements. On the subject of cybersecurity, the Committee provides the OAS member states with clear parameters on the application of international law, to limit the risks of escalation or unintended conflict. The General Assembly took note of these two proposals of the Committee, and with regard to international law in cyberspace, the General Assembly for the first time affirmed the applicability of international law to cyberspace, in keeping with the Committee’s declaration on the subject.

Worthy of note is the fact that the General Assembly has assigned the Department of International Law – in its capacity as technical secretariat to the Committee – the task of disseminating the instruments and reports adopted by the Committee as widely as possible, while supporting the efforts of the member states.

Concluding his report, the Chair urged the states to participate in the next joint meeting between the CJI and the legal consultants from ministries of foreign affairs, scheduled for August 2021 at its headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He also encouraged them to check the CJI website to review how the work is proceeding.

The fiftieth regular session of the General Assembly elected three new members to the Committee: Dr. Ramiro Gastón Orías Arrendondo, of Bolivia; Dr. Cecilia Fresnedo de Aguirre, of Uruguay; and Dr Stephen G. Larson, of the United States. They will begin their four-year term on January 1, 2021.

» The Chair’s presentation is available from the following link.

For further information on this subject, contact the OAS Department of International Law (Technical Secretariat to the Inter-American Juridical Committee) at telephone + 1 202 370 0741. 

» Additional information on recent developments in the Committee's work can be seen on this link.

» For additional information about the Department of International Law (DIL), please visit our Website.


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