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4th Meeting of Supreme Courts concludes with joint declaration, agreement and preliminary draft law

Friday, November 24, 2006

The closing of the 4th Mercosul Supreme Courts Meeting in the Supreme Court (STF) resulted in the signing of a joint declaration in which the signatories registered their satisfaction at the presence and participation of the presidents and magistrates of the Supreme and Constitutional Courts of the Americas. South and Portugal and, as guests, the presidents of the Constitutional Courts of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries.

According to the document, the great participation in the Meeting "demonstrates the significant enlargement and the importance that the forum acquires", reiterated with the formal commitment to deepen and improve the integration process.

The document also recommends to the legal community of Mercosur the dissemination of the regulations of the blocs and the debates for the solution of controversies.

To the Supreme Courts the declaration recommends the search for the standardization of Mercosur law in its national jurisdictions, according to the current instruments of interpretation of the common norms. The Coordination of the Forum and the Center for International Law Studies are responsible for preparing the agenda for the 5th meeting, as well as proposing topics and standards for the functioning of the Forum Secretariat.

The joint declaration also forwarded a preliminary draft law of the regulation requesting advisory opinions through the Supreme Courts of Justice of the States Parties, with a view to their rapid establishment.

Agreement with the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries.

In addition to the declaration, the Cooperation Agreement for the exchange of information and publications was signed through the use of a common database to be fed by the Constitutional Courts of the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries.

With the creation of this legal repository, Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Portugal, Sao Tome and Principe and Timor-Leste intend to establish a legal cooperation link and intensify the exchange of information.

The database will be available on the STF web page, with restricted access to the participating countries, which undertake to keep the database up-to-date with the regular and constant sending of information, publications and jurisprudence.

Draft Regulation

The effective members of Mercosur - Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay - drew up the "preliminary draft regulation for the processing of requests for advisory opinions submitted by the Supreme Courts of Justice of the states parties." According to this document, each Court will establish rules for requesting advisory opinions, among other procedures. The preliminary draft seeks the "correct and uniform interpretation of the Mercosur regulations".

The president of the STF, Justice Ellen Gracie, thanked the presence of all who participated and organized the 4th Meeting, and said tha she hopes to announce the date of the fifth version of the event. The Brazilian host announced the expectation of holding in 2007 the next Mercosur Supreme Courts Meeting.

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