The Board of Directors of the Justice Studies Center of the Americas (JSCA) met in Washington, D.C. on July 22, 2016. In attendance were Board members Douglass Cassel (President), Santiago Pereira (Vice President), Pedro Dallari, Manuel Montecino, Leónidas Rosa and George Thomson. By virtue of Article 13 of its Statute and Articles 18 and 19 of its Regulations, the Board hereby resolves:
- To approve the activities report and financial report for the first half of 2016 presented by JSCA Executive Director Jaime Arellano. The Board congratulates the Executive Director and JSCA’s staff on the results obtained.
- To unanimously accept the decision of Board member Leónidas Rosa to abstain from discussions and votes related to JSCA’s participation in MACCIH in Honduras given the possibility of conflicts of interest as he is the Ambassador of Honduras to the OAS.
- To agree that the Executive Director should continue to move forward with the negotiation of the agreement and funding related to JSCA’s work in MACCIH so that the general guidelines set by the Board in regard to maintaining political independence and the technical profile of JSCA’s work are maintained. Furthermore, the Executive Director is asked to report to the Board on any progress regarding JSCA’s participation in MACCIH.
- To convey its appreciation for the greeting that OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro personally offered JSCA’s Board of Directors during this meeting. Also, to ask the President and Executive Director to hold ad hoc or periodic meetings with the OAS Secretary General in order to facilitate any coordination required.
- To ratify the agreements signed by the Executive Director during the first semester of 2016.
- To approve the external audit for 2015 conducted by Crowe Howarth Auditores Consultores Ltda. following the reading of the financial statements by the Executive Director.
- To charge the Executive Director with presenting a new Strategic Plan for 2016-2021 to the Board of Directors once negotiations are complete with Global Affairs Canada (GAC) regarding the Project Implementation Plan for “Promoting Access to Civil Justice in Latin America” (2015-2021). The proposal should consider the exchange that took place among the Board members during this meeting and previous discussions of the topic.
- To charge the Executive Director with launching technical cooperation activities with Cuba in order to promote the development of its justice system. The necessary funding must be procured prior to the launch of this initiative.
- To schedule the XXXII Meeting of the Board of Directors for Friday, December 16, 2016 in Santiago de Chile.
The JSCA Board of Directors met in Santiago de Chile on December 16, 2016. The following members attended: Douglass Cassel (President), Santiago Pereira (Vice President), Ernesto Pazmiño, Pedro Dallari, Manuel Montecino, Leónidas Rosa and George Thomson. Member-elect Daniel Petrone also attended. By virtue of Article 13 of its Statutes and Articles 18 and 19 of its Regulations, the Board hereby resolves:
- To approve the Annual and Financial Reports for 2016 presented by Executive Director Jaime Arellano, and to congratulate and recognize the Executive Director and JSCA staff on the results achieved. The Board would especially like to recognize the fact that the entity has a balanced budget and has organized and executed numerous high-level activities during this period.To unanimously accept the decision of Board Member
- Leónidas Rosa to abstain from discussions and votes related to JSCA’s participation in MACCIH in Honduras due to a possible conflict of interest given that he is the Ambassador of Honduras to the OAS.
- The Board reiterates its decision to continue to move forward with the process of negotiating the agreement and financing that would regulate JSCA’s work in MACCIH such that the general lines set by the Board of Directors are reflected in regard to maintaining the political independence and technical profile of JSCA. The Board also requests that the Executive Director report to the body on the progress made in regard to JSCA’s participation in MACCIH.
- To charge the Executive Director with continuing to contact countries in the English-speaking Caribbean through the Caribbean Court of Justice, with which an agreement has been reached to implement an initial activity during the first half of 2017. In addition, the Board requests that he continue to make an effort to contact institutions in Haiti, the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. The Board also recognizes the Executive Director’s efforts to establish contact with Cuba. All of this work is being conducted with the objective of cooperating on the development of the countries’ justice systems and learning from their experiences.
- To approve the Plan of Action and Budget for 2017 presented by Executive Director Jaime Arellano. The Board recommends that the Executive Director include the work that the Center is developing on clear language in judicial decisions, which is part of an effort to bring justice closer to the people, as an explicit objective of the plan of action.
- To approve JSCA’s new Strategic Plan for 2017-2021, which was presented by Executive Director Jaime Arellano. The plan incorporates the vision of the Board and Executive Team for the Center’s work over the next five years. The Board requests that the Executive Director incorporate the following elements into the Strategic Plan subject to their material and financial viability: a) access to justice for taking action against companies that violate human rights; b) sentence execution; c) the selection and removal of judges and provisional judges; d) JSCA taking a leadership role in judicial training in the region; and e) connecting the issue of prisons to JSCA’s focus areas.
- To elect Santiago Pereira President of the Board and Manuel Montecino Vice President by acclamation in accordance with Articles 11 and 12 of the Regulations for the period beginning January 1, 2017.
- To thank Board President Douglass Cassel and Vice President Santiago Pereira for their service during 2015 and 2016 and to recognize the key role that they played in the leadership of the organization, the expansion of its presence and the strengthening of JSCA’s institutional capacities.
- To thank Ernesto Pazmiño, who is finishing his term on this Board and with JSCA, for the contributions that he made during his tenure as a Board Member (2011-2016) and Board Vice President (2013-2014).
- To ratify the agreements signed by the Executive Director during the second half of 2016.
- To schedule the next session of the Board for Friday, December 15, 2017 in Santiago de Chile. The Board requests that the Executive Director make the arrangements necessary to hold a virtual or in situ mid-year session, which should coincide with one of the Center’s activities if possible. The Board suggests Quito, Ecuador as a possible location for a meeting during the first half of 2017.