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Partnership with the IACHR proposes development of the Judiciary in the Human Rights field

The President of the National Council of Justice (CNJ) and Chief Justice of the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (STF), Ricardo Lewandowski, and the representative of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), José Jesús Orozco Henríquez, from Mexico, signed, last Tuesday (10), a letter of intention aiming at capacity-building and the development of the Brazilian Judiciary in the Human Rights field. The signing took place in an unprecedented meeting, at the Presidency Office of the STF, with the participation of representatives from the IACHR, Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CorteIDH), National Council of Justice (CNJ), and National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH). The document was also signed by Executive Secretary of the Commission, Emilio Álvarez Icasa.

In the occasion of signing the document (read it here), the President of the STF and CNJ, Chief Justice Ricardo Lewandowski, highlighted the importance of the protocol of intentions. “The first point to be furthered is the disclosure, among 16 thousand Brazilian magistrates, of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ case laws, the Commission’s decisions, the line of thought that dominates these organs, the great questions debated, and demonstrate that the Inter-American System of Human Rights, as well as the international system, led by the UN, are intertwined,” stated Chief Justice Lewandowski.

He recalled that the STF values greatly the international agreements, and that the Court’s agenda has significantly advanced on matters relative to human rights such as the trials of racial and social quotas in public Universities, protection of indigenous rights, agricultural reform and homosexual relations.

The representative of the IACHR pointed out that Brazil’s participation and intervention is ever more intense in the Inter-American System of Human Rights. “The country signed an Inter-American Convention, accepts the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court and has members in the Court as well as in the Commission,” noted José Jesús Orozco Henríquez. Thus, the protocol of intentions has, in his evaluation, “a profound meaning to all Justices and those who work in the Law field” because, among other aspects, it will make all the documents relative to both organs available in Portuguese.

The President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Humberto Antonio Sierra Porto, also highlighted the importance of the judicial workers’ skill capacity, specially Justices, “so that they become acquainted with the international standards of human rights and may apply them.” Henríquez recalled that the main keepers of human rights are the authorities.

Justice Luciana Lóssio, of the Superior Electoral Court (TSE), participated in the meeting for the signing of the letter of intentions as a member of the recently created National Commission of Human Rights (CNDH), represented by the National Council of Justice. She announced that the CNDH plans to organize, in the end of the year, a great event geared towards debates on human rights, involving the civil society and public power. “Brazil is very worried with these matters, and the partnership with the IACHR is an important step to implement human rights as a whole in the country,” he affirmed.

Review of treaties
To Chief Justice Ricardo Lewandowski, the letter of intentions is a first step in order to deepen the integration between the Brazilian Judiciary Branch and the Inter-American System of Human Rights. “It is necessary that the Justices understand not only how these systems work, but how they integrate each other, and accomplish what Justice Celso de Mello calls ‘review of treaties,’ that is, to verify if a certain actions is or is not in conformity with the international conventions of which Brazil are part of,” he affirmed.

The document provides for the organization of capacity-building courses for Justices and public servants of the courts. The qualifications on Human Rights will be offered within the judiciary schools, through seminars, colloquiums, symposiums, conferences, forums and other judicial activities of diffusion as well as judicial ones.
The letter also stipulates the creation of an electronic bibliography in the CNJ (Conselho Nacional de Justiça) website to gather texts, publications or any other judicial material of interest in the field of Human Rights, with Portuguese translation. Furthermore, there will be space for the IACHR’s case laws and other relevant information to legal practice.

The third point that the letter provides for is the publication of a book containing the texts of international treaties that composes the international system of protection to human rights.

Created in 1959 within the Organization of American States, the IACHR is responsible for the promotion and protection of Human Rights in the Inter-American System. The rapprochement with international organizations with aims to strengthen the protection of fundamental rights is one of the guidelines of Chief Justice Ricardo Lewandowski to the management of the national Judiciary in the next biennium.


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