JSCA Institutional Documents
November 15, 1999
(Adopted at the second plenary session, held on November 15, I999 and pending review by the Style Committee)
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY, MEETING IN SPECIAL SESSION, HAVING
SEEN the report presented by the Chair of the Special Group to Implement the Recommendations of the Meetings of Ministers of Justice or of Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas during the meeting of the Permanent Council of September 28, 1999 (CP/ACTA 1205/99);
To establish the Justice Studies Center for the Americas and to adopt the following
STATUTE OF THE JUSTICE STUDIES CENTER FOR THE AMERICAS
Having seen the report presented by the Chair of the Special Group to lmplement the Recommendations of the Meetings of Ministers of Justice or of Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas during the rneeting of the Permanent Council of September 28, 1999 (CP/ACTA 1205/99);
Bearing in mind:
That the Head of State and Government, in the Plan of Action adopted at the Second Summit of the Americas, in Santiago, Chile, in April 1998, agreed to “establish a Justice Studies Center for the Americas, which will facilitate the training of justice sector personnel, the exchange of information and other forms of technical cooperation in the Hemisphere, in response to the particular requirements of each country”; and
That on the occasion of the Second Meeting of Ministers of Justice or of Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas, in Lima, Peru. in March 1999, it was recommended that a group of government experts, open to participation by all of the delegations, be established, inter alia, to prepare draft Statutes of the Justice Studies Center of the Americas.
That the Permanent Council, in April 1999, established the Special Group, chaired by Peru and vice-chaired by Costa Rica and Trinidad and Tobago, to Implement the Recommendations of the Meetings of Ministers of Justice or of Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas.
That the General Assembly, through resolution AG/RES.1615 (XX IX-O/99), supported and recognized “the progress being made by the Permanent Council´s Special Group to facilitate the meetings of government experts on the establishment of the Justice Studies Center of the Americas”.
That the special group on Justice, for purposes of furthering the implementation of the recommendations of the Second Meeting of Ministers of Justice or of Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas, held four meetings of government experts to prepare the draft Statute of the Justice Studies Center of the Americas; and
That the Permanent Council, at its meeting of September 28, 1999, approved the draft Statute of the Justice Studies Center of the Americas; and
Recognizing the work of the Special Group to lmplement the Recommendations of the Meetings of Ministers of Justice or of Ministers or Attorney’s General of the Americas in preparing the draft Statutes of the Justice Studies Center of the Americas, which enabled the negotiations entrusted to the Special Group to be conducted efficiently and completed by the deadline.
To establish the Justice Studies Center of the Americas and to adopt the following
The Justice Studies Center of the Americas (hereinafter the “Center”) is an intergovernmental entity with technical and operational autonomy, established by resolution of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (hereinafter the “OAS”) in fulfillment of the mandates set forth in the Plan of Action of the Second Summit of the Americas (Santiago, April 1998) and the recommendations adopted at the Meetings of Ministers of Justice or of Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas (hereinafter “REMJAs”)
The Center is governed by this Statute and its Rules of Procedure. lts activities shall be carried out in accordance with the policy guidelines reflected in the conclusions and recommendations of the REMJAs and, as appropriate, may take into account the pertinent mandates of the Summit of the Americas and resolutions of the OAS General Assembly.
Objectives and functions
The objectives of the Center are:
- To facilitate the training of justice sector personnel;
- To facilitate the exchange of information and other forms of technical cooperation: and
- To facilitate support for the reform and modernization of justice systems in the region.
The Center shall have the following functions, among others:
1. To serve as a clearinghouse for the collection and distribution of information on national experiences pertaining to modernization and reforms of justice systems in the region;
2. To carry out comparative analysis, research, on justice issues studies and facilitate their dissemination;
3. To facilitate the dissemination of research and studies relating to justice in the Americas;
4. To facilitate the training of justice sector personnel and the improvement of existing mechanisms for that purpose in the countries of the Hemisphere;
5. To facilitate dissemination of information on teaching methods, model curricula, and training aids for personnel involved in the justice system;
6. To facilitate the dissemination of relevant information on courses, seminars, fellowships and training programs; and
In the performance of its functions, the Center shall take into account the different legal systems in the Hemisphere and, to the extent possible, shall use modern information technology as technical support for its operations. It shall also take into account the activities underway in this field at the international, regional, and subregional levels in order to promote cooperation and avoid duplication.
In the event that REMJA does not meet in a particular year or period, the powers and functions assigned to REMJA by these Statutes will be performed through the General Assembly of the OAS.
Composition and headquarters
All the member states of the OAS are members of the Center.
Any permanent observer to the OAS and any national or international, govermental or nongovernmental, organization specializing in the subject area may become an associate member of the Center under terms and conditions established in the Rules of Procedure of the Center.
The asssociate members may participate in all activities of the Center. They may also participate in meetings of the Board of Directors with voice but without vote.
The organizational structure of the Center shall consist of: a Board of Directors, the Office of the Executive Director, and such advisory groups as may be established in accordance with this Statute.
The Center may enter into cooperation agreements with the member states of the OAS and other states, as well as, with international or national, governmental or nongvernmental, organizations, among others. Such agreements, which shall be approved by the Board of Directors and deposited with the General Secretariat of the OAS, shall specify the conditions and forms of participation in the Center´s activities, as well as the rights and obligations of the parties.
The board of directors
- The Board of Directors shall be composed of seven rnembers elected in t heir personal capacity by the OAS General Assembly from among candidates nominated by the member states of the OAS. The way and means of ensuring representation on the Board of Directors for the host institution of the Center and for the associate mambers shall be determined by the REMJA on the basis of the recommendation of the Board of Directors.
- The members of the Board of Directors shall serve for a three-year term; under no circumstances may they be re-elected for more than one consecutive term.
- Vacancies that occur for reasons other than normal expiration of the term of office shall be filled at the next session of the OAS General Assembly.
- Candidates for the Board of Directors shall be persons of high moral standing and with records of distinguished service in the fields of law, social science, education, or public affairs who have made important contributions to the development or implementation of justice system reform in their countries.
- The Board of Directors should reflect the various legal systems in the Americas and, to the extent possible, different sectors of the legal affairs community.
The functions of the Board of Directors are as follows:
- To appoint and establish the compensation of the Director of the Center, with the approval of the REMJA, and ensure that the Director implements the pertinent conclusions and recommendations adopted by the REMJA; in addition it will be empowered to remove the Executive Director;
- To oversee the management of the Office of the Executive Director;
- To approve the draft annual work plan in conformity with REMJA guidelines and to submit the medium and long-term plans to the REMJA;
- To approve the Center´s annual program-budget and to submit to the REMJA medium and long-term financial policy proposals;
- To appoint an external auditor and review the external audit of the financial records submitted anually by the Executive Director;
- To draft, approve, and amend the Rules of Procedure of the Center;
- To establish, in consultation with the Office of the Executive Director, the advisory groups deemed necessary to implement the objectives of the Center;
- To perform any other functions entrusted to it by REMJA.
- To inform OAS member states through the REMJA, as well as the associate members and advisory groups, of the Center’s activities and submit an annual report to the OAS General Assembly; and
- Authorize the establishment of funds and accounts necessary for the operation of the Center.
- The Board of Directors shall meet at least once a year at the headquarters of the Center.
- All member states of the OAS shall have the right to participate in meetings of the Board with voice but without vote.
- The advisory groups provided for in Article 15 of this Statute shall be invited to participate in these meetings with voice but without vote.
- The Chair of the Board of Directors shall be elected by an absolute majority of the members of the Board for the term specified in its Rules of Procedure.
- The necessary quorum for a meeting of the Board of Directors shall be an absolute majority of its members.
- On the Board of Directors, each member shall have one vote. The Board of Directors shall make every possible effort to reach its decisions by cosensus. When a decision cannot be reached by consensus, the Board shall adopt its decisions by a majority of votes of the members in attendance.
The office of the executive director
- The Office of the Executive Director shall be the operational unit of the Center. It shall be composed of an Executive Director and staff.
- The Executive Director of the Center shall have the necessary professional, academic, and administrative experience necessary to fully discharge the responsibilities of the Center.
- The Director shall:
- Be responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Center, including all personnel decisions and the implementation of the policies approved by the REMJA, in accordance with direction provided by the Board of Directors;
- Direct efforts to mobilize financial resources necessary to implement the Center’s work plan;
- Prepare and submit to the Board of Directors the draft annual work plan and program-budget of the Center, including projections for the medium and long term;
- Implement the annual work plan within the resources allocated in the annual program-budget and any other resources obtained for that purpose;
- Promote and represent the Center;
- Serve as the Executive Secretary of the Board of Directors; and
- Report regularly on the status of projects and activities and the results achieved in their implementation, on the management of the Center, and on specific funds and other resources entrusted to the Center.
4. The Executive Director of the Center shall exercise his or her functions for a period of four years, renewable for a single consecutive term.
5. The Office of the Executive Director shall function at the headquarters of the Center.
The advisory groups established under Article 12 (g) may function at a site other than that of the Center. The requirements and terms of reference for their establishment shall be set forth in the Rules of Procedure.
The findings and conclusions of the advisory groups with regard to the matters assigned to them shall be presented to the Board of Directors through the Executive Director of the Center.
Budgetary and financial matters
The Center and its activities shall be financed by voluntarv contributions provided by the OAS member states and by funds from other public and private sources.
To that end, the Board of Directors shall authorize the establishment of specific and fiduciary funds that may be required, such as those provided for in Articles 68 and 69 of the General Standards to Govern the Operations of the General Secretariat of the Organizations of American States.
Entry into force
This Statute shall enter into force on the date of its adoptiont by the OAS General Assembly and may be amended only by that body.
First: For its first phase, the Center shall develop topics related to criminal justice, seeking to take advantage of the experience by other organizations in the Hemisphere in this area.
Second: The headquarters of the Center shall be selected by the REMJA based on the results of the assessments and the recommendations presented by the Board of Directors regarding the proposals made by member states.
To that end, the Board of Directors shall evaluate the site proposals of member states according to the following criteria, among other institutional affiliation, financial and/or in-kind support, staff support, and other contributions and facilities to be provided for the Center. Until a site has been selected, the Center shall operate at OAS headquarters.
Third: For the first Board of Directors, three members will be elected for three years, two for a two-year term, and two for one year, the terms to be chosen by lot.
These Regulations govern the operation of the Board of Directors of the Justice Studies Center of the Americas (hereinafter the “Center”), whose Statute was approved by resolution AG/RES. 1 (XXVI-E/99) of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (hereinafter, the “OAS”).
In case of conflict between the rules of the Statute of the Center and these Regulations the former shall prevail.
Cases not provided for in these Regulations that are not in the Statute of the Center shall be resolved by the Board of Directors.
The Board of Directors shall be composed of seven members elected in their personal capacity by the OAS General Assembly from among the candidates proposed by the member states of the Organization.
The members of the Board of Directors shall serve their functions for a period of three years, and in any case, they may not be reelected for more than one consecutive period.
The Board of Directors shall be partially renewed every year.
The mandates of the members of the Board of Directors shall start as of the first of January of the year following their election by the OAS General Assembly.
There may not be more than one member of the same nationality in the election of members of the Board of Directors.
Vacancies that occur for any other reason other than the normal expiration of the mandate of Board of Directors members shall be filled by the OAS General Assembly. In this case, the person elected to fill such vacancy shall start its mandate immediately and shall complete the period that corresponded to their predecessor.
Before every election, whether it is to replace members due to the normal expiration of their mandates or to fill vacancies that occur for any other reasons, the General Secretariat of the OAS shall invite the governments of member states to present their respective candidates, if they so wish, within 30 days, with the pertinent biographical data, and it shall communicate all of this immediately to the governments. Subsequently, the General Secretariat shall present to the General Assembly a list of the candidates proposed, formulated in alphabetical order of the proposing countries with the respective biographical data on the candidates presented.
Presidency and Vice Presidency
The President of the Board of Directors shall be elected by an absolute majority of the members of the Board for a period of two years, or for the time that is necessary to fulfill the pending time period of its mandate as a member of the Board , if this should be less.
The Board of Directors shall elect a Vice President by the absolute majority of its members for a period of two years, or for the time that is necessary to fulfill the pending time period of its mandate as a member of the Board , if this should be less.
In case of the temporary absence of the President, the Vice President shall replace him or her. In case of the definitive absence of the President, the Vice President shall substitute for the pending time period to end the mandate and a new Vice President shall be elected, concurring the same order of subrogation and substitution.
In case of definitive absence of the Vice President, the Board of Directors shall elect a Provisional President by an absolute majority of its members.
The President and the Vice President may not be reelected for an immediate period.
The election of the President and the Vice President shall be carried out in separate acts by secret vote. The Board of Directors shall deliver to each member a ballot with the names of all the members of the Board of Directors. Every member shall mark only one name with a cross. The President in office shall immediately proclaim the member who has obtained at least four votes as the one elected for the respective position. If no member is elected on the first vote with at least four votes, a second vote shall be held between the two members who have obtained the highest number of votes in the first round. In said second vote the person who has obtained the highest number of votes shall be elected.
The functions of the Presidency are as follows:
- To call the meetings of the Board of Directors, according to the Statute of the Center and these Regulations;
- To call the meetings to order and adjourn them and to conduct the debates;
- To draw up the agenda for the day and to submit the matters included therein for the Board of Directors’ consideration;
- To give the floor to speakers in the order in which it has been requested;
- To decide on questions of order that arise in debates of the Board of Directors;
- To submit the points in debate that require a decision to a vote and to announce the results, according to the provisions of the Statute of the Center and these Regulations.
- To inform the other members of communications received from the Meetings of Ministers of Justice or Ministers or Attorney Generals of the Americas (hereinafter “REMJAS”), from OAS Agencies, from governments of member states, from members of the Board of Directors, or others that are qualified in their opinion.
- To represent the Board of Directors before other organizations, bodies, institutions and entities;
- To attend periods of sessions of the OAS General Assembly and the REMJAS.
- To be the intermediary among the members, or between them and other authorities, in all the cases that so require;
- To give verbally or in writing the information other members request of it.
- To submit the Center’s Report on the work performed in a specific period of time to the REMJA for its consideration; and
- The other functions conferred thereon by the Statute of the Center, these Regulations, and those assigned by the Board of Directors.
At the beginning of each meeting period, the Presidency shall submit to the Board of Directors a report on the manner it fulfilled the powers and functions conferred thereon by the Regulations during the period the Board was in recess; and it shall submit for the consideration of the Board of Directors the order of priority of the matters to be discussed.
The functions of the Board of Directors, besides the ones provided in the Center’s Statutes, are the following:
- To establish the rules for the operation of the Executive Directorate, and those deemed necessary for the fulfillment of the obligations that the Statutes have assigned to the Executive Director.
- To establish in an Annex to this Rules of Procedure, the grounds for the removal of the Executive Director.
- To establish in an annex to these Rules of Procedure the requirements, conditions and terms of reference for:
- To approve the cooperation agreements the Center enters into with the OAS member states and other states, as well as international, national, governmental or non-governmental organizations, among others.
- The establishment and operation of advisory groups.
- The acceptance of national or international, governmental or non-governmental organizations, as associate members of the Center.
The Board of Directors shall hold at least one period of regular of meetings annually.
The Board of Directors shall also hold special periods of meetings when called by the OAS General Assembly or by the REMJA, or when the Board so decides in view of the importance and urgency of the matter or matters that have to be examined. The Presidency shall make the respective notification through the Executive Directorate.
When the Board of Directors is in recess and any of its members proposes a special meeting period be held, the Presidency shall consult with the other members if they are in agreement that such meeting period be held. In case that at least four of the members are in agreement, the President shall perform the respective notification through the Executive Directorate.
In the case foreseen in the prior article, the Presidency shall list the matters that shall be considered in the notification. The Board of Directors shall consider only those matters included in the notification.
In special cases, the Board of Directors may hold its meeting periods in any other place it designates at the appropriate time, which is not the headquarters of the Center, with the vote in favor of at least four of its members. In case needed it shall first obtain, through the Executive Directorate, the agreement of the respective member state.
When the meeting periods of the Board of Directors are held outside of the Center’s headquarters, the Board shall request from the Government and private or public entities of the country where they are held to provide the support and services necessary for the better development of said meetings. The headquarters institution shall support the coordination of the activities necessary to carry out these objectives.
When the Board of Directors decides to meet outside of its headquarters, to hold special meeting periods or to carry out any other activity that involves expenses, it shall request from the Executive Directorate to adopt the necessary measures to supply the respective funds.
Before closing each regular meeting period, the Board of Directors shall set the starting date for the next meeting period. In case this is not foreseen in that moment, record of this fact will be left in the respective resolutions.
During its recess, at the request of any of its members, the Board of Directors may decide, by a majority of five votes, according to an inquiry made by the Presidency for that purpose, and by means of any media, on the change of date of a regular or special meeting that has been previously and duly established.
The extension of a regular meeting period beyond the date established originally for its closing shall require the vote in favor of at least five of its members.
At the beginning of regular meeting period, the Board of Directors shall approve a work agenda. The subjects to be dealt with, may originate from resolutions adopted in the preceding regular meeting period, or by the respective REMJA. Other new matters can be included in the agenda, with the support of at least two of the Board members.
All OAS member states, as well as the associate members, and the Executive Director of the Center shall have the right to participate in the meetings of the Board of Directors with voice but without the right to vote.
The Board of Directors may invite the advisory groups foreseen in article 15 of the Statute of the Center to its meetings, and may also invite those organizations with a particular interest in the process of justice reform in the region, and request from them to make presentations over subjects of their competence.
The bodies, entities or organizations not foreseen in the above provisions and whose competence is related to issues that are considered at the meetings of the Board of Directors, may attend such meetings, with the previous special authorization granted by the President of the Board of Directors.
With this purpose, an application must be filed to the Board with at least 15 days prior to the relevant meeting is to be held. The rejection to this application must be explained and notification provided to the applicant, leaving a record of the same at the beginning of the respective meeting.
The meetings of the Board of Directors shall be recorded in summarized minutes, that shall set forth the time and day; the names of members and other participants present; the matters discussed, decisions adopted, and statements expressly made to be included therein.
The final reports of meetings held by the advisory groups shall include, in summarized form, the information referred to in the preceding paragraph.
Quorum and Voting
The quorum necessary to held a meeting of the Board of Directors shall be constituted by the absolute majority of its members.
The Board of Directors may held preparatory meetings with the presence of three of its members. The preparatory meetings shall be merely deliberative.
On the Board of Directors each member shall have one vote. Decisions shall be adopted by the vote of the majority of the members present at the meeting, unless specifically provided otherwise.
Voting shall be carried out by raising one’s hand, but any member of the Board of Directors may request for a nominal vote, which shall be carried out following the order of precedence. There shall be secret votes in the cases and form provided in these Regulations. In all cases, the President may propose, with the agreement of the Board, other means to perform the voting.
No member of the Board of Directors may interrupt the voting process, unless it is due to a question of order related to the manner in which the voting is being carried out.
If announced at the time of voting, members of the Board of Directors shall have the right to include a justified vote, in favor or dissenting, after the principal decisions have been approved, and they shall deliver the text thereof within a period of no more than ten days.
These Regulations shall enter into force on the date of their approval by the Board of Directors.
Annex of by-law
For Associated Members of the Center
All entities indicated in article 8 of this Statute may be Associated Members of the Center with no limitations other than those indicated in these by-laws and those imposed on them by their own by-laws.
In order to become an Associated Member of the Center, an application must be presented to the Executive Director, expressing at least:
The institutional background of the applying entity, indicating the Principal representative and an Alternative, if one exists, the Board of Directors, legal personality, statutes or by-laws and operational, financial or organic links with any other kind of organization.
The reasons that motivate their interest in associating with the Center, as well as expressing the proposed contributions to be made to the organization. Contributions may consist of voluntary contributions, professional services or any other kind of benefits to the Center’s work.
Once this application is submitted, it will be reviewed by the Executive Director, who may request that it be clarified or completed if background details have been omitted. In the same way, the Executive Director may request references on the entity from other institutions or entrust the entity itself to the attachment of a note with such references issued by a third institution known to the Center. Once this process is concluded, the Executive Director will produce a report to be transmitted to the Directive Council along with the application, the purpose being that the Council takes a decision regarding the proposed membership.
It will be the Council that makes the final determination whether to admit, reject, or require more details on the information presented by the applying entity.
The resolutions issued by the Council with this purpose will be governed by the rules of Chapter VII of these By-laws and will not be open to appeal.
The Executive Director will be informed of the resolution that contains the Council’s decision, and will transmit the admission, rejection or condition of its application to the interested party. The resolution will specify the course of action to specify the contributions proposed by the institution.
An organization will be understood to be an Associated Member of the Center once it receives an authenticated copy, attested to by the Director, of the resolution notifying its admission.
The Executive Director must keep an open record of these resolutions, which will be updated every year and made known by means that insure its due knowledge between the Member States of the Center.
The Executive Director must attend to the timely and suitable fulfillment of the contributions pledged by the organization.
The Executive Director may delegate one or more of the proceedings indicated in this chapter to the Executive Secretary of the Center.
The participation of the Associated Members at Council meetings is governed by that set forth in article 30 of the By-laws.
Likewise, the Associated Members may submit documents, works, studies, proposals or written observations for the Council’s consideration, provided that these be transmitted to the Executive Secretary at least thirty days before the meeting of the Directive Council, if it is wished that these be incorporated in the respective agenda.
The Executive Director jointly with the Secretary will consider the timeliness of the application and the relation of the subject contained therein, and will decide the inclusion of any of these documents in the Council meetings. Subsequently, the Secretary must give justified notice to the Associated Member of the result of its application and will list at the beginning of the Council meeting all documents presented with express indications of which will be undertaken in the session, save the exception in article 22 of the By-laws.
For the effects of entering into cooperation agreements, the Associated Members will be governed by article 10 of the Center’s Statutes.
An Associated Member may renounce this condition after having advised the Executive Director in writing.
For the effects of cessation of the exercise of rights and fulfillment of obligations, it is understood that an Associated Member stops being such 60 days after the reception by the Executive Director of the notice indicated in the first paragraph, at the headquarters of the Center.
Once the renunciation is received, the Executive Director will proceed to annul the respective listing in the register of Associated Members and will inform the Executive Council of this in their next meeting.
Likewise, associated members may cease to be so for non-fulfillment of the contributions offered. Such circumstances must be certified by the Executive Director and settled by the Directive Council
Of the Consultant Group
Consultant Group will be understood to mean any public or private organization, national or international organization, or group of natural persons organized specifically for these effects, which is linked to the Center for a given time with regards to a specific subject which has been resolved by the Directive Council, having been proposed by the Executive Director.
The proposal of the Executive Director will specify the purpose and the time period for which the Consultant Group should be constituted, as well as a list of institutions or associations that could form it. This list should be accompanied by at least the following information:
Institutional and organic definition of the entity, clearly identifying its principal representative, and documents supporting its creation and legal personality, if it has one.
Mission, objectives and the context in which it will perform its activities.
Outline of a Work Plan which links its current work to specific functions of the Center.
Background and curricula confirming special knowledge and experience, in the case of natural person.
With the purpose of confirming the constitution of a Consultant Group, the Executive Director, by Council mandate, will sign with the Group’s members a participation agreement, in which will be expressed:
- The main purpose for its constitution.
- The specific actions to be undertaken by the group, as well as the time period granted for completion.
- The methods by which the results obtained will be verified.
This agreement will be exempt from the procedures indicated in article 10 of this Statute, without prejudicing the possibility that the Consultant group may enter into a cooperation agreement on a subject different from that which motivates its formation.
In the Council Meetings, the Consultant Groups will have the same rights as the Associated Members in accordance with the regulations in Chapter V of these By-laws.
The results and conclusions of the work entrusted to them will always be presented to the Directive council by the Executive Management.
The permanency of the Consultant Group is subject to the conclusion of the work for which it was created, or that the time period indicated for this effect elapses with results that the Council deems insufficient and which do not merit an extension.
Notwithstanding the previous, the Council may renew the participation agreement provided that new actions are proposed which are within the main purpose of its constitution and which are coherent with new requirements of the Center.
That in the Plan of Action adopted during the Second Americas Summit, held in Santiago, Chile, in April 1998, the Heads of State and Government agreed to establish a Justice Studies Center of the Americas to promote the training of human resources, the exchange of information, and other forms of technical cooperation within the Americas, in accordance with the specific requirements of each country.
That in April 1999, the Permanent Council of the OAS established a Special Group charged with carrying out the Recommendations of the Annual Meeting of Justice Ministers and Ministers or Attorneys General of the Americas ( hereinafter referred to as REMJA), whose Report was presented to the Permanent Council session of September 28, 1999, which concluded with the approval of the Draft Statutes of the Justice Studies Center of the Americas;
BEARING IN MIND
The Resolution of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States pronounced during its Twenty-sixth Special Session, held November 15, 1999, which established the Justice Studies Center of the Americas and adopted its Statutes;
The request of the Government of Chile to be the headquarters of the said Center.
That the III REMJA, in accordance with the authorities assigned to it in the Statutes of the Center, and bearing in mind the recommendation of the Board of Directors, decided that the headquarters of the Justice Studies Center of the Americas be established in Santiago, Chile.
The Government of Chile and the Justice Studies Center of the Americas have agreed upon the following:
Article I Definitions
For the purposes of the present Agreement, the following terms are defined as follows:
- “Government”, the Government of the Republic of Chile;
- “OAS”, the Organization of American States;
- “Center”, the Justice Studies Center of the Americas;
- “Program”, the set of activities undertaken by the Center in compliance with its objectives;
- “Competent Authorities”, the Authorities of the Republic of Chile in accordance with its laws;
- “The Center’s Headquarters”, the sites and/or premises occupied by the Center, regardless of the property owner;
- “Goods”, the furnishings, vehicles, rights, funds in any currency, assets, income, other resources and anything that may constitute the patrimony of the Center;
- “Records”, the documents of any nature or in any form, whether paper or electronic, that are the property of or in the possession of the Center
- “Board of Directors”, the highest body of the Center, comprised of seven members appointed by the General Assembly of the OAS;
- “Executive Director”, the person responsible for the general operations of the Center, appointed by the Board of Directors.
- “Local Personnel”, the persons hired locally by the Executive Director for professional, administrative or service duties;
- “International Personnel”, non-local persons hired by the Executive Director. This group is further defined as:
- “Permanent International Personnel”, any non-Chilean personnel who regularly works for the Center for a period superior than one year
- “Non-Permanent International Personnel”, any non-Chilean person who works for the Center in Chile for a period of less than one year.
Article II Objectives of the Center
The objectives of the Center are to promote the training of human resources, the exchange of information, the support of the processes of reform and modernization of the justice systems in the region and other forms of technical cooperation in the area of justice within the Hemisphere, in accordance with the specific requirements of each country.
The Center may not be utilized in any manner that is incompatible with its objectives and duties.
The Center shall have legal personality within the territory of the Republic of Chile and shall have full authority to:
Enter into contracts;
Acquire and dispose of moveable property and real property , and
Initiate legal and administrative actions
The Center’s legal representation shall be exercised by the Executive Director or by a duly-appointed representative appointed by the Board of Directors
Article IV Immunities and Privileges of the Center
The Government shall grant to the Center, its personnel, goods, funds and assets, the privileges and immunities contemplated in the Agreement.
Article V Financial Facilities
The Center may:
Have in Chile funds and currency of any type and open and maintain accounts in any currency
Freely transfer its funds or currency within or outside the territory of the Republic of Chile.
Article VI Exemption of Taxes and Other Charges
The Center, its goods, and assets are exempt from:
- All direct taxes. However, it must pay for the public services it uses
- Customs charges and prohibitions or restrictions on the importation or exportation of articles, publications, and goods intended for official use, which may not be marketed without authorization from the Government
- The payment of certain mandatory charges, such as contributions to the national social security system required of the employer, and of the registration of the Executive Director and of the permanent international personnel in said system.
The previous notwithstanding,, all local personnel shall be subject to labor legislation and social security of the Republic of Chile. The Center must make the provisional contributions corresponding to said personnel.
Article VII Premisesand Records of the Center
The headquarters, premises, and records, as well as all documents in general that belong to or are in the possession of the Center shall be inviolable. The previous notwithstanding, the Center shall not provide political asylum.
Article VIII Communications
The Center shall have, within the territory of the Republic of Chile, for its official communications, both national and international:
- A treatment no less favorable than that granted by the Government of Chile to any international organization, in terms of tariffs and applicable rates for correspondence, cable grams, telegrams, telephonic communications, and others, and
- The right to send and receive its correspondence by mail or in special pouches with the same immunities and privileges granted to the mail and diplomatic pouches
None of the provisions of this Article may be interpreted as prohibitive of the adoption of appropriate security measures for purposes of public order
Article IX Immunities and Privileges
- The Executive Director and the permanent international staff:
- Shall have immunity of jurisdiction in the exclusive exercise of their official duties;
- Shall be exempt from income taxes based on salaries, remunerations and compensations paid by the Center
- Shall have the right to import, free of customs duties and other taxes, prohibitions or restrictions on importation, household goods, including an automobile, at the moment of assuming their positions in Chile. The same privilege shall be applied for importing an automobile for the use of the Center. For the effects of the transference of the automobile, the general regulations established for the resident Diplomatic Corps shall be applied.
- The immunities and privileges extended in this Agreement are conferred in the interest of the Center to safeguard the independent execution of its operations. The Center and its personnel shall cooperate with the Chilean authorities to promote justice, ensure the observation of the police regulations and refrain from any and all abuse of the immunities and privileges recognized under this Agreement.
- In no case will the immunity of jurisdiction established in section 1 a) of this article be extended to acts that constitute an infraction or breach of the traffic regulations or labor laws in effect in Chile.
- The provisions made in section 1 b) of this article shall be extended to the transitory international personnel.
- The members of the Board of Directors who are not host country nationals will have immunity of jurisdiction for the opinions they emit in the exclusive execution of their duties while within Chilean territory.
Article X Settlement of Disputes
Any difference relative to the interpretation or application of this Agreement shall be resolved by the Parties through the pertinent consultations. If the difference is not resolved through these channels within six months of their initiation, either Party may request arbitration. Such decision shall be communicated to the other party in writing.
The arbitration board must convene within 30 days after the designations referred to in the following paragraph are made. Within the said period, the Parties shall establish the jurisdiction of the board and establish the procedure to be followed.
Each Party shall name an arbiter of their choice and the two duly-named arbitrators will select a third, who will preside over the board.
In the event that one of the Parties fail to name an arbitrator within a period of 30 days from the date of the communication referred to in the first paragraph of this article, the other Party may request that the President of the International Court of Justice appoint that arbitrator.
The costs will be the responsibility of each Party.
Article XI Final provisions, enactment, and amendments
- This Agreement shall become effective on the thirtieth working day from the day that the Executive Director of the Center receives written notification from the Government of Chile indicating the completion of the necessary Chilean constitutional procedures.
- Either of the Parties may request a consultation to amend the present Agreement. All amendments shall be made by the mutual consent of the Parties and shall become effective in the same manner stipulated in the previous paragraph.
- This Agreement shall be effective indefinitely, and may be terminated by either Party via written notification of the other Party, with a minimum of six months anticipation of the intention to terminate said Agreement.
Without prejudice to the preceding provisions, the projects and programs in effect shall continue until their conclusion. With respect to the disposal of the Center’s property, the parties shall agree upon a term not to exceed one year for the completion of its liquidation. In both cases, the regulations stipulated in this Agreement shall continue in effect.
Signed in Santiago, Chile, on the twenty-second day of the month of January of the year two thousand one in four copies in Spanish and in English, all being equally authentic.
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MIDTERM OPERATIONS REVIEW REPORT
CIDA PROJECT No. A-032116 – JUSTICE STUDIES CENTER OF THE AMERICAS
Submitted to: Inter-American Program Americas Branch, Canadian International Development Agency
By: Paul Chambers, Senior Consultant
Consulting and Audit Canada
March 8, 2006
1 Executive Summary
The rule of law and social acceptance of the fundamental principle that the laws, rather than those who pass them, are the main foundation of social decision-making are the pillars of the social contract and a modern system of government. In order to protect citizens from the arbitrary use of government authority or other illegal actions, it is essential to have a predictable legal system with fair, accessible and effective judicial institutions. In many developing countries, weak legal institutions and a lack of regulation place development at risk and contribute to poverty.
The Institutional Strengthening in Criminal Justice Reform Project (ISCJR) financed by CIDA’s America Branch grew out of the commitments made by Canada at the Americas Summit in Quebec regarding “Justice, Rule of Law and Individual Security,” which recognized that equal access to independent, impartial and timely justice is a cornerstone of democracy and economic and social development. The goal of the ISCJR project is to contribute to changing criminal justice system practices in order to achieve greater transparency and efficiency as well as better conditions for respect for the human rights of men and women. The purpose of the ISCJR project is to promote innovative approaches and practices that seek to solve specific problems in the implementation of criminal justice reforms in some Latin American countries.
The Midterm Operations Review of the Justice Studies Center of the Americas (JSCA) of the Institutional Strengthening in Criminal Justice Reform Project (ISCJR) financed by CIDA focuses on key aspects regarding the following attributes of the initiative:
- Consistency in JSCA cooperation priorities;
- Contribution to criminal justice reform priorities of national governments; and
- Achievement of planned results, products and impacts.
Research and fieldwork for the Midterm Operations Review took place between February 1 and February 25, 2006. The review consultant tested the results of the project in Guatemala, Honduras and Bolivia through interviews with Canadian officials, students who had completed JSCA courses and high-ranking officials from each country’s judicial system.
The Canadian officials in Honduras, Guatemala and Bolivia were not always fully aware of CIDA’s role in funding JSCA or JSCA activities, but they fully supported Canadian participation and its support for justice reform. They identified improvements in the sector as a critical factor for increasing security, leadership, protection of human rights and the general development of each country. Interviews with former donors, JSCA alumni and national judicial system officials provided consistently positive responses regarding the value of the courses offered, the success of their replication in each country, and the valuable role that JSCA had played by complementing the national justice reform efforts with practical training and research support.
JSCA’s methodology for replicating courses in graduates’ countries of origin is unique and has proven highly cost-effective. Each course participant is asked to prepare a document regarding the way in which the content of the course applies to his or her specific circumstances and, if they are interested, they are invited to submit a proposal to replicate the course in their country. A limited number of the best proposals are selected. In Guatemala, a training course replica for 48 judges in Quezaltenango on basic litigation system techniques cost $7.500. The Supreme Course of Guatemala, which is responsible for judicial management, is anxious to obtain JSCA’s technical support for more replication courses. After similar successful experiences, the Honduran Supreme Court Chief Justice has a long list of new proposals that he hopes to analyze with JSCA. The Director of the Honduran National Public Defense System and Bolivia’s Attorney General want JSCA to help them by offering courses for new professional staff. There is a significant level of demand for JSCA support in the three countries visited, all of which participate in justice reform programs on a large scale with international support.
JSCA’s strategy for selecting studies emphasizes the recruitment of mid-career, relatively young professionals who are intelligent, dynamic and committed to establishing the rule of law in their societies. They have formed an impressive network of generators of ideas in the Latin American judicial sphere who will become the next generation of high-ranking administrators in the region’s justice system.
JSCA participates in training its researchers. The findings that JSCA has generated on gender and indigenous communities have been used to design new training models that incorporated these thematic areas into the training program. JSCA has made strong investments in information technology and offers six-month online courses. Program alumni were interviewed and found it convenient, well-designed and easy to use with timely access to instructors.
The ISCJR project monitor had been informed that the project was well managed and was producing results beyond expectations. The Midterm Operations Review confirmed the reports that stated that JSCA was exceeding the original goals for project results. JSCA has a strong program and financial management team and its operations are efficient and transparent. The Center uses modern financial management and information systems that are capable of producing complete, up-to-date reports on project progress and spending (by activity, result and cost center). The Center’s staff can monitor the progress of each student by course and for each module within the course. Learning is valued, and feedback and evaluation processes are incorporated into training and research programs. The products have been recognized throughout Latin America for their high quality, relevance and timeliness.
JSCA is still a small, young organization. It is on target to become a regional center of excellence, but its priority is addressing the challenge of achieving long-term financial sustainability. JSCA was formed solely on the basis of voluntary contributions by member states. Though it has created a small reserve fund, it has yet to create an important source of donations. JSCA has complemented voluntary contributions with donor funding for cooperation projects, technical assistance of recoverable costs, enrollment, etc. but, as is to be expected, it has depended on short-term financial projects mainly funded by the US and Canada (85% of its budget). JSCA’s dependence on project funding could lead to problems covering the central costs and in the long-term could lead to the search for contracts outside of JSCA’s main sphere of interest in order to increase cash flow. JSCA should focus solely on what it knows how to do well.
The Center has prepared a long-term financial plan for the consideration of the OAS which, once approved in the coming months, should resolve the structural financial dilemma through institutional funding from the OAS or member states and through a campaign to secure more diversified funding from more donors. This campaign should include a request for contributions to create an adequate donation fund.
Although CIDA will need to monitor progress on the financial front, it has obtained excellent value for its investments in JSCA in a sector in which bilateral donors find it difficult to operate. CIDA should consider continuing to finance the Center, which is preparing to propose a longer-term project with a larger budget.
2. Main Conclusions and Recommendations
The ISCJR project is consistent with a key development priority for Latin American countries. JSCA research and training programs are appreciated throughout the region. The training methodology is effective and benefits from an ongoing evaluation and review process. The projects that have been replicated significantly increase the impact of JSCA training programs.
The ISCJR project objectives are practical, relevant and important for the success of justice reform programs.
The management of the ISCJR project shows high levels of efficiency, effectiveness and economy.
The ISCJR is an outstanding example of South-South cooperation that uses judicial reform experiences from Chile and Argentina as models in the design of new reform approaches in other Latin American countries.
JSCA’s management and financial oversight, hiring and staffing, selection and assessment of students and systems and quality control procedures for research and training are good. JSCA is well run and operates efficiently. The administration is dynamic and competent, a rare example in which profession and vocation come together to produce a team of top-rate professionals.
JSCA’s challenge is to address its cash-flow situation without diluting its mandate, taking on activities outside of its main sphere of competency in search of more income (that is, turning into a consulting firm). JSCA’s added value is to provide ongoing support for education and training professionals from the justice system who work to implement justice reform programs throughout the Americas.
The Center should continue to avoid highly theoretical and purely academic research. Its research program should continue to focus on identifying the practical lacunae in the formal legal education system and preparing justice practitioners for their future roles and responsibilities, designing training courses that help them to overcome deficiencies in national judicial education programs.
JSCA’s main clients are the national officials responsible for implementing justice reform in each of the Center’s member states. It should sign contracts with the legislative branch of each of these countries to formalize this relationship.
JSCA should continue to strengthen its position as a center of excellence and lead justice reform studies in Latin America and around the world. CIDA should be in a position to consider continuing its relationship with JSCA, which is preparing to submit a new proposal to the Agency. CIDA should consider making a five-year contribution based on a program that provides the opportunity to support the integrated set of JSCA activities rather than a limited set. It should prioritize poorer, less developed nations in the region that are of greater interest to CIDA.