Judicial Power and Impunity

July 12, 2006

In the FUNGLODE auditorium of Santo Domingo, the Honorable Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzón’s conference titled, “Judicial Power and Impunity” was broadcasted as part of the Lecture Series of the Americas, originally presented at the Organization of American States (OAS) headquarters in Washington, D.C.

According to Judge Garzón, “We are all involved in the universe of
human rights and obligations and that is why we all have the duty to find the appropriate solutions, so we can see improvements.” He went on presenting different legal principles that could bring much needed improvement in the judicial system.

Judge Baltasar Garzón also analyzed how impunity takes place due to the neglect of certain leaders, their acceptance of the status quo and failure to react to existing legal vacuums or to ambiguous
judicial systems hard to penetrate.

According to Judge Baltasar Garzón, judges and magistrates must make use of their legitimate power within the democratic system. He went on to confirm that the judiciary should operate within the society, not outside of it, always maintaining the traditional values of prudence, restraint, independence and impartiality. Judge Garzón also expressed his encouragement for a judiciary update and reform in
every country and for the advancement of a global and universal legal system.

Judge Garzón’s lecture was then discussed by a panel of experts led by Magistrate Guillermo Jiménez, Assistant General Prosecutor. The dialogue went around how to conduct judiciary reforms, how reforms have to be consensuated and how the reforms must reflect the challenges the society has to face.

This presentation is
part of the Lecture Series of the Americas of the OAS, which FUNGLODE and its sister organization in the U.S., Global Foundation for Democracy and Development (GFDD,) have been supporting and promoting in the Dominican Republic.