Recognition, Redistribution and Popular Participation: Towards an Integrative Judicial Policy

Latin American justice system debated at international seminar in Rio de Janeiro

August 11st, 2015

Access here the Seminar website.

Access here the final document of the event (2ª Carta do Rio).

Access here the general report.

Organized by the Justice Forum, seminar “Latin American Judicial Policy from a Public Defender's Perspective” brought together social movements and legal experts from Latin America to discuss access to justice, popular participation, and challenges in the region.

The seminar “Latin American Judicial Policy from a Public Defender's Perspective”, held at the Museu da República (Rio), in the last days of 07 and 08 in May of 2015, was marked by the dialogue and exchange of experiences on various topics about justice. and public defender in Latin America. The two days of debates, which included defenders, academics, jurists and experts from six countries, were guided by topics related to the Judiciary in Latin America and its institutions and their developments, as well as the debate on the model of integrative justice. , popular participation, access to justice and challenges in the region.

Opening of the Seminar “Latin American Judicial Policy in a Public Defender's Perspective”, at the Museu da República (07 / 05)

Opening of the Seminar “Latin American Judicial Policy in a Public Defender's Perspective”, at the Museu da República (07 / 05)

The first day (07 / 05, Thursday) began with the panel “Ibero-American Judicial Summit and the Democratic Functioning of the Justice System” and a conversation round about “integrative justice model”. During the activities, working groups were assembled to gather proposals and ideas on the topics discussed, later presented to the collective. The main exhibitions first showed a general diagnosis of Latin America, taking as an example the political and legal situations of the region. The debate also addressed key issues for the structuring of the judiciary, ways of reaching justice and institutional dialogue with other countries and regions of the world. “It is a very important confluence space for the region. A great opportunity to add the perspectives and criticism of the Public Defender's Office, as well as create possibilities for contacts with different ways of thinking about justice, ”says Breno Bringel, PhD at the Faculty of Political Science and Sociology at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) and one of the seminar's exhibitors.

During the presentations, much was said about the Latin American reality and social exclusion, factors that contribute to the reflection that society needs a profound transformation. Still on the first day, the organizations, entities and social movement gathered at the seminar, aware of the serious violations suffered by Congresswoman Jandira Feghalli (PC do B), in 06 in May, wrote a letter repudiating the reported events about the physical and psychological violence committed. by Roberto Freire (PPS) Alberto Fraga (DEM), within the National Congress.

As a general guideline, proposals were listed with a view to advancing the democratization of the justice system and ensuring the guarantee of rights regardless of the individual disposition of judges, prosecutors and public defenders. The creation of a network between social movements, teachers and public agents of justice was suggested to discuss innovative mechanisms with promising potential existing in the Region, aiming to stimulate and increase popular participation in the formulation, monitoring, evaluation and review of public policies. of the justice system.


Dr. Ciro Ramón Araujo, General Public Defender of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, at his presentation at the Seminar

May 08, Friday, began with the working group “Development Model and Innovative Mechanisms for Popular Participation in the Justice System”, which debated and presented proposals on the topic. Participants argued about the Integrated Justice System and its attributions, such as observing across the different aspects of intersectionality (oppressions of gender, race, ethnicity, among others); be aware of the traditions, experiences and specificities of indigenous peoples; recognize law schools as institutions of the justice system; be committed to transparency; recognize institutional spaces for organized civil society and movements in shaping the judicial policy of justice system agencies; and produce coordinated actions from these same agencies. The community also brought together proposals and strategic actions, such as mechanisms that provide the population with knowledge about the political and legal functioning of the institutions, the commitment of its members to the effectiveness of rights, the understanding of the operators of law on strengthening legal pluralism and forms of conflict resolution typical of indigenous and traditional peoples, among others. Also noteworthy was the defense of the functional, administrative and budgetary independence of the institutions, with approval of the motion in support of the Federal Public Defender's struggle for their autonomy, as well as the motion to support the effective implementation of the Public Defender's Office of the State of Goiás.

The seminar also opened space to debate organizational proposals for a campaign for a regional convention for access to justice, in the form of a conversation circle, which considered that historically the institutions of the justice system are far from most of the population and serve as a model for development that violates rights and excludes. It was concluded that there must be mechanisms for participation of vulnerable publics, popular movements, in the management of justice system institutions and in the performance of their functions.

Rosane Lavigne, feminist, Public Defender and member of the Justice Forum, Organizing Committee of the Seminar; in the debate next to Gladys Acosta

Rosane Lavigne, feminist, Public Defender and member of the Justice Forum, Organizing Committee of the Seminar; in the debate next to Gladys Acosta

According to Gladys Acosta Vargas, feminist jurist, founder of Flora Tristan / Peru and member of the CEDAW / UN Committee, “the discussion process is not just regional but international. The presence of social movements is very important, not only for the space, but also for the pressure exerted by them. The processes are contagious and are influencing, but nevertheless, one has to take into account the complexity of the legal processes ”. The lawyer with expertise in Criminal Law and Crime Ana Isabel Garita Vilchez, also a UN consultant, stressed that “with the experience of political participation in the administration and functioning of the international body, we realize the importance of the instrumentalization of rights, creating the possibility to uphold values ​​of justice, compensation, truth, constitutional frameworks. ”To end the debate, Rosane Reis Lavigne asked the participants:“ Would it be possible to ensure an integrative, responsive and inclusive model of justice, to support rights and maintain them even? in moments of institutional political crisis and / or reduction of rights won? This challenge leads us to continue the network debate involving social movements, academia and state agencies. ”

Thus, the seminar “Latin American Judicial Policy from a Public Defender's Perspective” shares a perception that the democratic functionality of the justice system is an important theme for the Latin American region, considering it as a space for dispute. policy for the guarantee, progress and non-retrogression of human rights. In this sense, the Public Defender's Office plays an important role in promoting changes in the institutional mechanisms of access to justice, within the institution itself, in dialogue with different actors and institutions of the public authorities and with the vulnerable groups themselves.

The Justice Forum has the support of the Ford Foundation, SAL and SRJ of the Ministry of Justice, the National Association of Public Defenders and UN Women. For this Seminar, it was also supported by the Block of Official Public Defenders of Mercosur, the Public Defender's Office of the State of Rio de Janeiro and the Museu da República.


img4Seminar “Latin American Judicial Policy from a Public Defender's Perspective”

May 07 and 08 Days

From 9h to 19h

Republic Museum: Rua do Catete, 153, Catete. Rio de Janeiro (RJ) Information: Full schedule: About the Forum Justice:

Republic Museum: Rua do Catete, 153, Catete. Rio de Janeiro - RJ)


Complete schedule:

About the Justice Forum:

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Victor de Oliveira

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