Legal services and peace-building
The project dubbed "Legal Transition in Colombia: a perspective from the legal community" is born as a space to generate reflections and debates that will contribute to the public discussion about the role that attorneys, legal services and the legal system play in the construction of peace, as an exercise in citizen participation.
For the CCB the legal profession, understood as both the activity in itself, as well as the legal services sector, as the important cogs in the economy they are, play a key role in the construction of peace and, specifically, in the legal transformation the country is going through, which will have important effects on the legal system, the administration of justice, the role legal services companies play, and on the legal profession itself.
This initiative led by the CCB jointly with Fundación ProBono Colombia and the University of El Rosario, seeks to ensure that the legal services segment contribute, from its capacities, vision and experience, to the debate about the consolidation of the Rule of Law, peace and development, as well as about the expansion of market economies.
Furthermore, the project will allow the legal sector to generate new forms of analysis to add to their existing knowledge about the transitional process the country is going through
Dialogue 5. The role of law firms and companies in the special jurisdiction for peace
With the participation of the legal director of the Institute of Political Science, the director of Fondo de Capital Humano and the Professor, with the moderation of the attorney, on October 27, 2017, the fifth dialog was carried out of the project “The legal transition in Colombia: a legal community perspective”.
Since the role that will be played by companies in the Truth Commission is unclear, as well as whether they will be able to take part in the public hearings and other truth-building scenarios, the dialog addressed different aspects, such as: What will be the risks and incentives for companies to participate in the Special Jurisdiction for Peace (JEP, for the Spanish original)? What will be the risks and incentives for companies to take part in the Truth Commission? What role will companies play in the victim reparation models? and What role will law firms play in supporting the System of Truth, Justice, Reparation and Non-recurrence?
Dialogue 4. Alternative Mechanisms for Settling Disputes
The guiding principle of the Peace Agreement with the FARC is the guarantee of access to independent, timely, effective and transparent justice. In this scenario, the promotion of Alternative Mechanisms for Settling Disputes (MASC, for the Spanish original) is vitally important to prevent taking the law into one’s own hands, which has been consolidated as a predominant factor in territories affected by the armed conflict.
That was the central theme that summoned up the fourth guided dialogs carried out on September 29, during which answers were proposed for questions such as: What are the MASC that can contribute to peace building? Is community justice an MASC that can contribute to peace building? Do the MASC have a place in transitional justice? What are the challenges for the Centers of Arbitration and Reconciliation for building peace? See images of the dialogue.
Dialogue 3. Public Procurement & Post-conflict
Considering that some experts state that an additional challenge to the proper implementation of the peace agreement is the Colombia’s current state procurement system, the third session of dialogs carried out on August 31 addressed “Public Procurement & Post-conflict” as the central theme.
The discussion addressed aspects such as easing the procurement system and issues of transparency and control, adapting the Public-Private Partnership system for the implementation of the peace agreement, limitations in state procurement with non-profit entities, and incentives for the procurement of goods and the use of local services in prioritized regions and village areas. See images of the dialog.
Dialogue 2. Rural development policy, development models and legal regime
The second guided debate was held on July 27th, with participation from Eduardo Zuleta, Rocío del Pilar Peña and Estefanía Ponce, with a discussion which revolved around the topic "Rural development policy, development models and legal regime".
Using the first point of the peace agreement signed with FARC as a reference point, which includes a comprehensive rural reform (RRI) that seeks to promote a transformation of the reality currently being experienced in rural Colombia, this dialogue addressed challenges such as the legal support to companies interested in investing in the Colombian farmlands, the legal regime of large farms and the RRI, legal accompaniment to prioritized areas in order to articulate policies for rural investment and tensions between the peace accords and the International Law on Foreign Investment. See images from session 1.
Dialogue 1. Participation in politics, democratic openness and communities
The first guided discussion to be carried out as part of this project was held on June 30th, 2017. This agreement addressed the issue of participation in politics, considering it was one of the key and more controversial points in the peace agreement and in the negotiations between FARC and the government. The conversation covered aspects such as prior consultations, the management of social conflicts and peaceful protests in the areas of operation, the involvement of entrepreneurs in the new participative spaces, and the use of alternative means for dispute resolution. See images from session 1.
This project was launched and presented within the forum dubbed "Legal Services and the Construction of Peace in Colombia", which saw participation from several subject matter experts.
As part of this initiative, workshops will be held between June and November of 2017, in which several lawyers will analyze the legal context of the Peace Accords signed in Havana, as well as their implications on the legal services they provide.