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ILAC webinar: judicial independence hanging by a thread in Guatemala
On 24 September 2020, the International Legal Assistance Consortium (ILAC) co-hosted a webinar with the Law Society of England and Wales, the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice and the American Bar Association.
An expert panel highlighted the personal and professional threats made against Guatemala’s judges due to their independent and impartial rulings, especially High Risk Tribunals judges who are dealing with the most contentious issues including corruption and human rights violations.
Together, the panellists brought valuable first-hand experiences and expertise on the pressing issues facing Guatemala's judiciary.
Increasing efforts to rid the justice sector of independent judges acting with integrity appears to be a larger, systematic plan for the return to a state of impunity in Guatemala. These attempts are impacting on the rule of law, which began with the attack against the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG).
Corruption and impunity will prevail again if something is not done soon to protect Guatemala’s independent and impartial justice sector actors. The panellists unanimously emphasised the importance of reforming the judicial nominations process and offered concrete recommendations on what international actors can do to support an independent judiciary in Guatemala.