JusDH to adress democratization of the the Judiciary
Seminar in Brasília to discuss democratization of justice in the context of mobilizations
The 3rd Seminar of the Justice and Human Rights Articulation (JusDh) group will take place on May 7 and 8, in Brasília, with the participation of human rights organizations, social movements, actors in the justice system and researchers on the topic of the democratization of justice.
The demonstrations in June last year led thousands of people to take to the streets and illustrated the population’s dissatisfaction with the functioning of the current political system. Most prominent among the many demands of the demonstrators were the need to reform institutions and realize basic rights. In this context, the reform of the Justice System is also key to the consolidation of Brazilian democracy and the realization of human rights.
Against this backdrop, and in the year that Constitutional Amendment No. 45 on the Reform of the Judiciary turns 10 years old, the 3rd JusDh Seminar will address the topic “Transformation of the Justice System in the context of the Reform of the Political System: Where is the reform of the judiciary headed, 10 years later”.
The event will take place on May 7 and 8, in Brasília, and will bring together human rights organizations, social movements, actors in the justice system and researchers on the topic of the democratization of justice, with the goal of promoting an exchange of analyses and experiences.
Among the organizations confirmed for the seminar to debate Political and Judicial Reform are the National Network of Grassroots Lawyers (RENAP), the Platform of Social Movements for the Reform of the Political System, the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB), the Institute of Research, Law and Social Movements (IPDMS) and other social and union movements.
Another goal of the seminar is to strengthen the political agenda and advance the joint actions aimed at the democratization of justice. This part of the event will be attended by representatives of the Association of Brazilian Judges (AMB), the Association of Judges for Democracy (AJD), the National Associations of State and Federal Public Defenders (Anadep and Anadef) and the Federal Prosecutor’s Office for the Rights of Citizens.
The program of the seminar also includes the release of the research report “Emblematic Cases and Experiences in Mediation: Analysis for an institutional culture of alternative solutions to rural land conflicts”, produced by Terra de Direitos in partnership with the Department for the Reform of the Judiciary and the United Nations Development Program.
Consolidation of JusDh
Since 2008, social movements and organizations have pursued a strategic agenda for the democratization of justice, by monitoring, producing information and engaging in political advocacy with the Justice System and the Executive and Legislative branches.
In October 2011, when the 1st National Seminar was staged, JusDh was created to assume the role of national coordinator of the agenda. At the time, the key topics were the nomination of higher court justices, monitoring the activities of the National Justice Council (CNJ), keeping track of the legislative bills concerning the procedural and structural reforms of the judiciary, and monitoring cases in which the role played by the judiciary was emblematic for the realization of human rights.
The 2nd JusDh Seminar was held in May 2013 and was titled “The Democratic Potential of Human Rights for the Justice Policy”. The report from the seminar identified what needed to be done to achieve the democratization of justice, in particular the need to make changes to the judicial selection process and to reform the National Judiciary Organic Law (LOMAN), which dates back to the dictatorship and is still in effect.
According to the organizations from the JusDh group, LOMAN needs to be reformed so the Judiciary can break with undemocratic structures from the period when the law was enacted: it is one of the few laws from the military dictatorship that is still on the books today. Matters such as internal elections in courts, the criteria for embarking on a career as a judge and the implementation of External Ombuds Offices, among many other important issues for the democratization of the Judiciary, need to be reviewed and the reform of the law would contribute to this process.