The crises that today affect the practice of law, “a risky profession” – Comercio y Justicia

The description belongs to
Carlos Andreucci, president of the Ibero-American Union of Bar Associations and Associations (UIBA), who affirmed that today there are weak democracies in the region and that this fully impacts the work of lawyers

Today 22 countries are part of the Ibero-American Union of Bar Associations and Associations (UIBA), including Spain, Portugal, Mexico and Argentina.

The UIBA is today chaired by the former head of the Argentine Federation of Bar Associations (FACA), Carlos Andréucci, who traced for Trade and Justice a projection for 2023. These are axes that derived from the congress that the legal profession had organized last May in Pamplona (Spain).

“In the immediate We have a crisis of democracies in Ibero-America, where the lack of response to citizenship, politics, the economy and institutional stability altered the rules of democratic trust. We have a first aspect that transcends the profession, which is a citizenry that disbelieves in the democratic foundations that cost so much to restore after the 70s with de facto governments”, explained Andreucci.

He listed very complex realities, compared to States that should be a response to social demands. “At the international level, the category of ‘failed state’ arises, in which Venezuela It is one of the cruelest examples from the point of view of how the typical constitutional democracy has been dismantled and how this affected the practice of law; and how it has projected migratory consequences that have altered the region”, he pointed out.

Then he focused on the institutional crisis in Mexico: “A State that in many cases has lost strength, the leadership of power, and the drug traffickers are establishing rules of the game that are being projected even to regions of Argentina, as is the case of Rosario.”

For the lawyer, Today there is a certain threat of political insecurity, but in addition to daily, citizen insecurity, which has repercussions on professional practice.

Continuing the mapping of what is happening in the region, he pointed out that El Salvador and Central America In general, they present low democratic participation. The diagnosis: executive powers that, as a consequence of the post-pandemic, gained power throughout Latin America and, in some countries, restricted the intervention of congresses and the judiciary.

“Therefore, the independence of the judiciary is undermined, the autonomy of the judiciary is in danger and above all in the economy of the Judiciary and the survival of the judges”, he stressed.

What happens in one country has repercussions in its close neighbours, the case of Guatemala and Nicaragua. In the latter, where Daniel Ortega with a lock law prohibits and punishes meetings, therefore directly affecting the practice of law.

In the case of Chili, from where 17 bar associations have just joined UIBA, the organization he presides is working on a mapping on the constitutional issue after the society rejected (with 62% of the votes) the proposal for a new constitution, which failed channel what the people asked for.

Another problematic situation experienced by legal professionals is in Peru: “Pedro Castillo’s claim to close Congress when he knew he was being dismissed has had repercussions as if it were a repeated ‘Fujimorazo’ in a timeless period, but it has generated very strong institutional political instability in Peru.”

On the other hand, he referred to the crisis that is taking place these days in Bolivia. For Andreucci, the citizens of Santa Cruz “are today on a crusade for an autonomous and independent Santa Cruz that intends to separate itself from the Bolivian Constitution because it understands that it is the most productive part from the point of view of agriculture, industry, etc.; a very important crisis”.

Finally he referred to Argentina and Brazil. “In Argentina we find ourselves locked in a kind of domestic conflict, a rift that we try to assume as a general one”; and “in Brazil it is analyzed who is going to be patient with Lula when she is no longer a surprise, the people are not going to have the sweet wait of a honeymoon.”

Andreucci’s conclusion is that everything described previously “It has an impact on institutional qualities and this has to do with the practice of law and the general project of access to justice and distrust in justice.”

digital exclusion

Another challenge for the legal community is that the post-pandemic has brought behavioral changes, such as remote connectivity. On this point, he focused on a negative consequence. “In all the inhabitants of Ibero-America, the assembly of the connectivity infrastructure is only in urban centers, it generates a deeper exclusion than the previous one, a technological exclusion. Therefore we are working in an Ibero-American digital rights platform to see how these exclusion gaps can be overcome”, he concluded.

Threats to the profession

Finally, he stated “our profession has become a profession of risk, like any other that is exposed to threat, attack or extinction. The lawyer is a victim of the system because the systems have relaxed in such a way that as lawyers we have to build constitutionality, build citizenship, defend rights, defend the independence of the Judiciary, so that judges are not seduced by political power, because judges are also accomplices in many cases to link up with political power and do not assume their counter-majority condition that controls society and controls power”.

On this issue, he announced that the UIBA is currently working with the Ibero-American Commission of Justice Ministers, together with the General Secretariat of Ibero-America, towards a framework agreement on access to justice for the protection of Ibero-American democracy. They will focus on the observation and protection of rights and democracy in Latin America “because this relaxation of the strength that democracy had long ago is appreciated.”

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