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The Inter-American Juridical Committee (Juridical Committee) serves as the OAS advisory body on matters relating to the administration of justice and promotes the development of international law. It consists of 11 jurists who are nationals of member states and are elected by the General Assembly. Each jurist serves on the Juridical Committee for four years, and no two jurists can be nationals of the same state. The Juridical Committee meets twice a year, at dates and locations determined during their preceding meeting.

The Inter-American Juridical Committee is responsible for (Chapter XIV, OAS Charter; see also the Inter-American Juridical Committee’s Rules of Procedure):

  • Advising and informing on juridical matters of an international character the other organs of the OAS, when they so request
  • Carrying out the studies and the preparatory work on juridical matters of an international character that are assigned to it by the organs of the OAS mentioned in article 100 of the Charter
  • When the request for advice or for information comes from a principal organ not mentioned in Article 100 of the Charter, it shall be authorised by the General Assembly. If on the other hand the request comes from a subsidiary or dependent agency, it shall be authorised by the organ on which it depends
  • Preparing draft conventions or formulating opinions on matters of regional interest that refer to the progressive development of international law and to its codification
  • Studying the juridical problems related to the integration of the developing member states in the economic, social, educational, scientific and cultural fields in accordance with the standards set forth in the Charter of the OAS. Also, the Committee studies the possibility of attaining uniformity in the legislation of the member states in these fields

How does it help tackle violence against women?

Ensuring women’s access to justice is essential for eliminating violence against women. As the body that oversees the uniformity of legislation amongst member states and drafts human rights conventions, the work Inter-American Juridical Committee can influence approaches to tackling violence against women. For example, at the conclusion of the 5th Meeting of consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, the Inter-American Juridical Committee was assigned the task of drafting the American Convention on Human Rights. Within this Convention, the Inter-American Juridical Committee identified which human rights would be protected, and established specific authorities to protect those rights (e.g. the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the rules of procedure of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights).

iconLockWant more? Read the Inter-American Juridical Committee’s Rules of Procedure

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