EarthRights International launched its Training for Judges and Lawyers Program in Iquitos, Peru on March 16, 2007. The idea for the program was born from the recognition that many of the students at our EarthRights Schools were lawyers whose traditional legal training in their home countries had not included human rights, environmental or indigenous law. In addition, graduates from our EarthRights schools, as well as leaders from local communities, started looking for more concrete methods of resolving these issues where campaigning and advocacy proved ineffective. More and more earth rights activists are looking to national legal systems for just, fair, and reasonable solutions. Click here for the available curriculum materials.
Our goal is to strenghten the power of law in order to give more power to the people. We believe ERI is successfully using the law to foster change. Therefore, the purpose of these trainings is to help each other learn how to do this in different ways and take those ideas and opportunities to create real, concrete change.
The trainings will give an introduction to the mechanisms and tools available to judges and lawyers for the protection of earth rights. We hope that with an understanding of the international and regional policies of human rights, environmental and indigenous protections, the judges will feel more equipped to deal with such issues as they come to their courts.
The 3-day training for Judges from the Loreto region of Peru focused on international, regional and national human rights, environmental and indigenous rights law. The speakers who participated in this training were all experts in their fields. We chose those who could make an objective contribution on the state of regional and international law.
The training was kicked-off with introductory remarks from Roger Cabrerra of the Colegio de Abogados de Loreto, Ka Hsaw Wa, Executive Director of ERI, Salvador Lopez, President of the Corte Superior de Loreto, and Lillian Manzella, ERI’s International Legal Program Coordinator.
|Ronald Gamarra, lawyer for the Instituto de Defensa Legal (Ideele), began the training with an overview of international law as applied in Peru.
|Astrid Puentes, Legal Director for the Asociacion Interamericana para la Defensa del Ambiente (AIDA) introduced the theme of the training workshop: earth rights – the intersection of human rights and the environment.
|Professor Arturo Carrillo, Director of George Washington University’s International Human Rights Clinical Program launched into the theme of the day: Human Rights, with a focus on the international system for the protection of human rights.
|Profesor Jose Burneo from the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Peru continued the discussion on human rights protections by looking at the Inter-American system
|Javier Mujica Petit, lawyer and founder of Centro de Asesoria Laboral de Peru (CEDAL) and responsible for the program on human rights, rounded off the day with a discussion on human rights protections in Peru.
|At the end of the day, Arturo Carrillo and Astrid Puentes led a discussion on the issue of human rights protections by analyzing cases from the Inter-American System.
|Astrid Puentes began the second day of training by introducing the theme of the day, environmental protections, with an emphasis on international environmental law.
|Alberto Barandiaran, founder and president of Derecho, Ambiente y Recursos Naturales (DAR) completed the morning’s discussion of environmental law with a focus on environmental protections in Peru.
|Frederica Barclay Rey de Castro, medical anthropologist, looked at the situation of indigenous protections in Peru.
|Participation in this workshop was limited to a select group in order to foster and encourage discussion, hoping that this will contribute not only to reciprocal capacity building but also to some sharing of ideas through debate on the way forward.
|Jorge Tacuri Tacuri, lawyer responsible for the indigenous defense programa of the Organización Regional AIDESEP Ucayali (ORAU). continued the discussion on indigenous rights through an analysis of the Chorinashi case.
|Mario Melo, lawyer for the Sarayaku people in their case in the Sistema Interamericano de Derechos Humanos, began the third day by rounding out the discussion on indigenous rights by focusing on international indigenous rights protections.
|Eliana Ames, lawyer and asesora of the Congreso de la Republica and Roger Cabrera from the Colegio de Abogados de Loreto spent the afternoon anaylzing cases which sought to protect indigenous rights in Peru.
|Eliana Ames completed the discussions with a focus on criminal law and the environment in Peru.
|A discussion panel consisting of Alberto Baradiaran, Astrid Puentes, Arturo Carrillo and Javier Mujica Petit closed the training for judges by looking at the mechanisms available for corporate accountability and taking questions from the judges on all aspects of the training.
|The judges had been hand-picked for their sensitivity to these issues and the probability that cases involving earth rights violations would come to their courts.
|All of the participants in attendance for the entire training workshop received certificates from the Colegio de Abogados de Loreto and ERI for their participation.