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Press Release - 'Rule of Law Challenges in Latin America: Corruption and Judicial Independence'

Issued: 2 March 2016

'Rule of Law Challenges in Latin America: Corruption and Judicial Independence'

Brazil's former President Cardoso and two Supreme Court Justices to address international conference in São Paulo, Brazil (18 and 19 April 2016)

The Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law, together with the global law firm Jones Day, the Jones Day Foundation, and the FGV Law School in São Paulo, today released the programme for a conference to be organised in São Paulo on the topic of "Rule of Law Challenges in Latin America: Corruption and Judicial Independence".

This conference, to be organised on 18 and 19 April, is funded by Jones Day through the Global Rule of Law Exchange at the Bingham Centre.

The Conference will consider a number of urgent and current issues relating to the rule of law in Latin America, including corruption, the conduct of trials and ways to ensure judicial independence.

Distinguished speakers from Brazil will include former President of Brazil, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Supreme Court Justices, Minister Gilmar Mendes and Teori Zavascki, as well as a senior member of the Brazilian government. There will be similar high-level speakers from elsewhere in the region and beyond.

Emphasising the significance and timeliness of the conference, Luis Riesgo, the Partner-in-Charge of Jones Day's Latin America/Miami Region, said: "Many of us hoped that Latin America's long and largely successful march toward democracy and free markets would bring with it broad and vigorous rule of law. Rule of law in the region is still not as strong as it should be, but both grand and petty corruption is no longer acceptable in many countries. Voters have begun to recognise the depth of the problem and are starting to demand solutions. As lawyers, we have an enormous opportunity, and arguably an obligation, to promote and support reform by spreading our knowledge of how the system can work and by offering specific education programs appropriate for individual jurisdictions. This will be an important conference to that end."

Professor Sir Jeffrey Jowell QC, Founding Director of the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law remarked: "Corruption offends two cornerstones of the rule of law, namely, the principle of legality and the right to equal application of the law. It is important, therefore, that corruption be prosecuted with vigour. However, care must also be taken that, in doing so, other features of the rule of law are not undermined, such as respect for the presumption of innocence and the right to a fair trial.

The conference is both timely and relevant in that it will provide the opportunity to discuss the necessary fight against corruption in a way that respects international standards of due process and also deal with broader issues on the Continent, including judicial independence."

Oscar Vilhena Vieira, Director of the FGV Law School in São Paulo added: "Brazilian society has undergone profound transformations in recent years, which in turn affect the way we think about and implement the Rule of Law. Judicial institutions have a role to play in fostering measures that stimulate sustainable development, respect for human rights, and democratic safeguards."

More information - including the programme for the conference and instructions for registration can be found online at www.binghamcentre.biicl.org/ruleoflawexchange/brazil2016

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For further information, please contact:

Claudia Mansaray, Marketing Manager, Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law

E: c.mansaray@biicl.org / T: +44 (0)20 7862 5435

Mat Tromme, Project Lead and Senior Research Fellow, Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law

E: m.tromme@binghamcentre.biicl.org / T: +44 (0)2078625151

Otávio Dias, Project Coordinator, FGV Direito-SP

E: otavio.dias@fgv.br / T: + (55 11) 9 8536-5198

Notes to editors:

  1. The Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law - The Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law was launched in December 2010 to honour the work and career of Lord Bingham of Cornhill - a great judge and passionate advocate of the rule of law. The Centre is dedicated to the study, promotion and enhancement of the rule of law worldwide. It does this by defining the rule of law as a universal and practical concept, highlighting threats to the rule of law, conducting high quality research and training, and providing rule of law capacity-building to enhance economic development, political stability and human dignity: www.binghamcentre.biicl.org. The Bingham Centre is a constituent part of the British Institute of International and Comparative Law (BIICL), a registered charity and leading independent research organisation founded over 50 years ago: www.biicl.org
  2. FGV Law School in São Paulo - The mission of FGV Direito SP is to contribute to the development of Brazilian society through high quality teaching and research, in line with its economic, social and institutional needs. With these assumptions and actions in mind, FGV Direito SP seeks to consolidate itself as an alternative to the traditional model of legal education and maintain a critical stance in this field of knowledge. Our PhD Professors and students are fully dedicated to teaching and research and committed to constant innovation, both in using participatory methods of teaching and conducting research - preferably empirical, collective, and of public interest — with high level of quality.
  3. Jones Day - Jones Day is a global law firm with 43 offices in major centers of business and finance throughout the world. Its unique governance system fosters an unparalleled level of integration and contributes to its perennial ranking as among the best in the world in client service. Jones Day provides significant legal representation for almost half of the Fortune 500, Fortune Global 500, and FT Global 500.
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