Gabriela Knaul and Pedro Nikken, the United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers; and Venezuelan lawyer and former President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, respectively, will, during the 26th session of the UN Human Rights Council taking place in Geneva, discuss the challenges facing the rule of law in Venezuela today.

The panel discussion will be held on Wednesday 11 June 2014 at 1400–1530 at the Palais des Nations, Geneva. Entitled Strengthening the Rule of Law in Venezuela the event is being co-hosted by the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) and the International Commission of Jurists and will draw on recent reports by the IBAHRI, The Execution of Justice: The Criminal Trial of Judge Maria Lourdes Afiuni (April 2014), and by the ICJ, Strengthening the Rule of Law in Venezuela (June 2014). Together with recommendations to strengthen the rule of law, the expert speakers, including IBAHRI Senior Programme Lawyer Alex Wilks, will discuss the most current and prominent challenges facing the rule of law in Venezuela, including issues related to the independence of the judiciary and the legal profession more broadly. The Secretary General at the International Commission of Jurists Wilder Tayler will moderate.

IBAHRI Co-Chair Sternford Moyo said, ‘The situation of the rule of law in Venezuela is currently at a critical juncture and this discussion is most timely. The IBAHRI’s recent report on the criminal trial of Venezuelan Judge María Lourdes Afiuni found that the justice system in Venezuela does not contain adequate systemic safeguards to guarantee judicial independence and that the Venezuelan justice system is in urgent need of reform.’ He added, ‘The expert opinions and insights from Ms Knaul and Professor Pedro Nikken will add greatly to a very important debate.’

Strengthening the Rule of Law in Venezuela will be held on Wednesday 11 June 2014, from 1400 – 1530in Room XXVII, Palais des Nations, Geneva. The event is free to attend. Click here to RSVP to attend.

Click here to download the IBAHRI report The Execution of Justice: The Criminal Trial of Judge Maria Lourdes Afiuni.

www.ibanet.org/Article/Detail.aspx?ArticleUid=cae3da1b-b3a4-4b0d-8b17-21e317b38327

Click here to download the ICJ report Strengthening the Rule of Law in Venezuela.

www.icj.org/venezuela-weak-legal-system-threatens-democracy-and-human-rights-reforms-urgently-needed-new-report-says/