• 11 November 2016

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    Category : Opinion

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    Spanish lawyers in international cooperation

    El acceso a la Justicia de los ciudadanos está en la base de las garantías judiciales que tienen la consideración de derechos humanos.

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    Seminario regional para la validación de la "Guía para la Defensa Pública y la protección integral de los privados de libertad"en La Antigua, Guatemala.

    No country or community can function peacefully if its inhabitants are unable to assert their rights in an established system of justice or defend themselves against accusations brought against them. Access to justice by citizens is based on legal guarantees that take into human rights consideration.

     

    Nonetheless, in reality we face numerous difficulties in applying them in a practical and effective way. And, regrettably, when this is the case we see the natural consequences – greater levels of social inequality or high rates of violence – which are often attributed to other factors, such as poverty, when in reality poverty is not a cause but rather an effect, and precisely an effect of the fact that, among other factors, many people are excluded from justice.

     

    The mechanisms for accessing justice should be designed for citizens in general, they should be properly contemplated at the legislative level, and they should also be given the necessary resources to function adequately. Some countries have a more pressing need for cooperation in order to address these needs.

     

    For those of us working to defend the rights of citizens, it is very difficult to not see the tremendous challenges worldwide facing people with disabilities, displaced people and refugees, minorities, victims of trafficking and exploitation, persons deprived of their liberty, and people living in endemic poverty. We are talking about hundreds of millions of people.

     

    The General Council of Spanish Lawyers, through its participation in cooperation actions, often focuses on working to ensure that the most vulnerable groups have access to protection of their rights through the justice system under the same conditions as their neighbours.

     

    We have successfully undertaken numerous projects of this type in some European countries and, above all, in Latin America. We might highlight, for their representativeness, some implemented in collaboration with FIIAPP within the framework of European cooperation programmes such as EUROsociAL.

    The views and opinions expressed in this blog are the sole responsibility of its author.