World Jurist Network for a Better World
International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) — American Association of Jurists (AAJ) — Latin American Association of Labor Lawyers (ALAL) — United States National Lawyers Guild (NLG) — National Association of Democratic Lawyers of Mexico (ANAD) — Brazilian Association of Labor Lawyers (ABRAT) — National Union of Cuban Jurists (UNJC)
Established on April 13, 2006, as agreed by international, regional and national associations participating in the "V Hemispherical Meeting of Social Movements, Networks and Organizations fighting against FTAA and for a better America to be possible", held in Havana, Cuba, on April 12 to 15, 2006.
- International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL);
- American Association of Jurists (AAJ);
- Latin American Association of Labor Lawyers (ALAL);
- United States National Lawyers Guild (NLG);
- National Association of Democratic Lawyers of Mexico (ANAD);
- Brazilian Association of Labor Lawyers (ABRAT);
- National Union of Cuban Jurists (UNJC).
Information about the objectives of the Network and minimum standards for its operation
- Work as a function of the necessary unity and coordination of action programs that make it possible to focus all our efforts on the achievement of our fairest aspirations.
- Rather than operating from a central office, coordinations will be made by its international, regional and national member associations.
- It will be basically operated through both e-mail messages carrying articles and documents expressing the positions assumed by its member jurist organizations and workshops, seminars and other activities on behalf of the Network, mainly in World Social Forums, Summits of Peoples, meetings against FTAA and other related events. Steps will be taken to publish the said articles and documents and other specialized materials in these jurist associations' WEB sites.
- The Network's top-priority topics will be defined by its member associations, the following being worthy of consideration:
a. Agreements and actions approved in meetings and activities held by its member associations, including those resulting from World Social Forums, Summits of Peoples, meetings against FTAA and so forth.
b. The struggle against Neoliberal Globalization, free trade agreements, WTO and the foreign debt.
c. Integration schemes for the benefit of the peoples.
d. The fight on terrorism within the framework of the State of the Law, against State terrorism and with a view to the release of the five young Cubans unfairly imprisoned in the United States for opposing that scourge of the human race.
e. Opposition to militarization, military interventions, imperialist threats against Iran, illegal and indefinite detention of people and their lack of access to justice.
f. The defense of the Palestinian people's rights.
g. The struggle to democratize the United Nations system.
h. The fight for the right to the land and food sovereignty.
i. The defense of all human rights, emphasizing on people’s right to work, social security, education, health and overall equality with no distinctions as to race, sex, national origins, sexual preference, gender identity, disability or religious belief.
j. The right of all men and women worldwide to development and a dignified life.
- Each association will appoint a leader to coordinate the network and be responsible for receiving, selecting and circulating articles and documents by e-mail that express the viewpoints of their authors and/or the associations they represent, even if they differ from those of other Network member organizations.
- The meeting to establish the Network also agreed to appoint theme coordinators for issues such as: foreign debt, migration and terrorism, which will significantly contribute to the way these topics will be addressed in Network-related activities. Those interested in having the above topics included can contact the following persons: Foreign debt - Fabio Marcelli, IADL Bureau member in Italy, at email@example.com, Terrorism - Marjorie Cohn, President-elect of the U.S. National Lawyers Guild, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and Migration - Oscar Alzaga, from the Asociación Nacional de Abogados Democráticos de México, at email@example.com.
- In order to promote discussion about the various topics, the publication of all comments about the articles and documents circulated through the Network will be fostered.
- All articles and documents will be circulated in their original language, and the Network member associations will have them translated into English, Spanish, French, Portuguese and other languages according to their possibilities and the importance of the topic at issue.
- The coordinators of these associations will be in charge of circulating the said articles and documents and taking joint practical measures, for instance, to avoid as far as possible that a document be sent to the same person by several coordinators.
- On the occasion of the "VI Hemispherical Meeting of Havana" in 2007 the achieved results will be assessed, measures will be taken to improve the Network and the possibility will be appraised to create a web site for the Network. This appraisal could also be made during either the "XIV Continental Conference of the American Association of Jurists" to be held in Caracas or the next World Social Forum.
- Until a decision to create the Network web site is made, its member associations will publish related information in their own web sites.
- The possibility will be discussed with the coordinators of the "Network of Networks for the Defense of Humanity" to combine this network of intellectuals and social activists from many countries in the five continents to the "World Jurist Network for a Better World". Find further information at http://www.defensahumanidad.cu.
Declarations, papers and other documents approved in meetings and activities held within the framework of the "V Hemispherical Meeting of Social Movements, Networks and Organizations" fighting the FTAA and for a better America to be possible":
CALL OF THE WORLD JURIST NETWORK FOR A BETTER WORLD
Since the II Hemispherical Meeting on the Struggle against FTAA, various organizations of jurists in the American continent have organized workshops to assess and debate issues related to the struggle against FTAA, the free trade agreements and an authentic integration of Latin America.
Between the 25th and the 28th of January, 2006, an International Legal Workshop took place within the framework of the VI World Social Forum and the II Social Forum of the Americas held in Caracas, Venezuela, under the slogan ”Law, Sovereignty, Work and Integration”, in which in-depth analyses were made of substantive issues like the foreign debt, national sovereignty, human rights, FTAA and the free trade agreements, regional integration, Labor Law and social security, terrorism, namely State terrorism, U.S. military penetration, wars and aggressions, and the democratization of the United Nations. The basic objective of those debates was the elaboration of an action plan to stand up to, from legal criteria and standpoints, present and future challenges facing our unipolar world, especially in Latin America.
During these years, the movement of resistance against FTAA has grown, deepened and advanced as an expression of the intention to recolonize our peoples, and we have celebrated, with justified joy, the failure of the negotiations in the Summit of the Americas in Mar del Plata.
Nevertheless, we should be aware that the danger the FTAA project involves is still in full effect: the negotiation and ulterior implementation of free trade agreements between the United States and docile governments in our hemisphere, especially in Central America, and the offensive of the Development and Economic Cooperation Organization (OCDE) member countries within the WTO, aimed at making U.S. domination perpetual, bring to light the need to increase our struggles in this respect.
Neoliberalism is actually an accommodation requirement of capitalism and its spearheading countries. What the United States is presently doing is reorganizing their backyard, which is unfortunately made up by our countries.
At the end of the East-West confrontation, intercapitalist competition increased. Based on its economic, military and political predominance, the United States went on to articulate a process of "integration" with our sub-continent marked by our economic submission and the erosion of our State-Nation attributes, which degraded the living conditions of our peoples and provoked a loss of legitimacy of the political leadership in our countries.
For the United States, it is simply and clearly a matter of a subordinated linking of Latin America and the Caribbean to a new international division of labor.
The theories about the so-called "limited sovereignty" are part of the imperialist strategy of worldwide domination pursuant to its nature, regardless of the fraction ("Democrat" or "Republican") of the single party in power, presently expressed through boundless, obviously neofascist aggressiveness.
Part of this strategy is the imposition of "formal democracy" models which use the hypocritical and rhetorical manipulation of human rights in an attempt to disguise its political-military penetration, the establishment of new military bases, and absolute control of the continent even under an "ecologist" image (efforts to grant world heritage status to the Amazon). The alleged fight on terrorism the United States claims to lead and champion has revealed to be a brutal farce conducive to the imposition of its interests.
This situation imposes new challenges on our struggle against militarization and the foreign debt that threatens and suffocates our peoples; the need to advance toward its true integration under guidelines of solidarity as proposed and evidenced by the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA); the struggle for the right to the land and its rational, effective use, food sovereignty and safety; the right to life and a healthy environment, education, health, employment and social security, and overall equality with no distinctions as to race, sex, national origins, sexual preference, gender identity, disability or religious belief education, that is to say, the universal and inalienable right of all men and women worldwide to development and a dignified life.
Facing these and other challenges requires that we achieve the necessary unity and coordination in the development of action programs that would place us in conditions to guide our efforts towards the attainment of all our just aspirations.
In the context of the "V Hemispherical Meeting of Social Movements, Networks and Organizations on the struggle against FTAA and for a better America to be possible", men and women jurists who participate, following on the assessments of the abovementioned meetings, decide to establish a World Network and offer space for the elaboration of strategies of struggle and the forging of joint actions, and formulate a Call to all organizations of jurists of goodwill to research and carry on action means and tactics approved in our Hemispheric Meeting; develop new initiatives and creative actions within the spirit of the Meeting and with the broad and constructive perspective that has prevailed in deliberations and agreements and, in general, to articulate an ever-increasing force which will rise to prevent the imperialist purposes highlighted herein by joining this World Network initially comprised by the undersigned and ultimately contribute as jurists to save the future of humanity.
City of Havana, April 14, 2006
DECLARATION BY THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF DEMOCRATIC LAWYERS
At its meeting in the City of Havana on April 11 and 12, 2006, the Bureau of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) recognizes the illegal and unjust character of the legal process organized against five Cuban heroes imprisoned in the United States for the sole crime of fighting terrorism at a time when the U.S. government claims to be engaged in a crusade against terror.
Taking into account that in light of U.S. Constitutional Law and international law standards the said process has overlooked basic legal safeguards such as the right to proper counsel, hindered in this case by keeping the accused in solitary confinement throughout the 17 months previous to their trial to prevent them from freely communicating with their defense attorneys, the inadequate implementation of national security laws to stop both the accused and their defense attorneys from having access to the existing evidence, and the holding of this trial in Miami, where there exists a hostile atmosphere as a result of strong political influences on the community by leaders of the very terrorist organizations the Cuban Five had under surveillance. These violations, together with the harsh prison sentences dictated against the Cuban Five, which the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention of the United Nations Human Rights Commission labeled as disproportioned in its conclusions issued on May 27, 2005, are sufficiently serious that their arrest becomes an illegal and arbitrary decision.
Taking into account as well that the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta responded to the appeal filed by the Cuban Five with an annulment of the sentences passed in court and called for a new trial, sustaining in its judgment dated August 9, 2005 that the process had taken place under a ”perfect storm” fueled by negative publicity campaigns against the defendants before and during the trial in a strongly prejudiced venue and through repeated misconduct practices by the prosecutors, mostly intent on getting a guilty verdict rather than serving justice.
Therefore, this meeting ratifies the IADL's denunciation of the manifest violations committed along this process by agreeing to circulate all relevant information about this process among our members with a view to further disseminating this case in jurist and other social organizations, make it known in every international forum we attend and develop parallel judicial and any other possible action at international level so that proper, necessary justice be achieved regarding the case of the Cuban Five.
Given in the City of Havana on April 12, 2006
How to become a Network member?
All jurist associations having the same goals as the "World Jurist Network for a Better World" and willing to become members must send a request by e-mail to one of the founding associations, which will exchange the information available to them and make a decision on approval by the majority of the votes in favor.
Any member association of the international founding organizations will be automatically admitted to the Network at its request.