Margarette Macaulay elected IACHR president


Margarette Macaulay elected IACHR president

Friday, March 02, 2018

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Jamaican jurist Margarette Macaulay is the new president of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR).

Macaulay, who has been writing a women's and children's rights advice column in the Jamaica Observer's weekly All Woman magazine for over 11 years, was elected to the position at the IACHR's first Period of Sessions of the year on February 22 in Bogotá, Colombia, the commission announced in a news release.

Also elected to the commission's new board are Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño, first vice-president; Luis Ernesto Vargas Silva, second vice-president; Francisco Eguiguren Praeli, Joel Hernández García, Antonia Urrejola and Flávia Piovesan; executive secretary Paulo Abrão; and the assistant executive secretaries Elizabeth Abi-Mershed and Maria Claudia Pulido.

The special rapporteur on freedom of expression is Edison Lanza, while special rapporteur on economic, social, cultural and environmental rights is Soledad García Muñoz.

Macaulay was elected commissioner on June 16, 2015 by the Organization of American States (OAS) General Assembly for a four-year term running from January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2019.

She holds a bachelor of laws degree from the University of London, is currently an attorney in private practice, serves as mediator in the Supreme Court of Jamaica and as associate arbitrator, as well as serving as notary public.

Macaulay served as a judge of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights from 2007 to 2012, contributing to the formulation of the Court's Rules of Procedure. She is an honoured member of the Gender Justice Legacy Wall of notable women's rights advocates, who have brought about important changes.

The Gender Justice Legacy Wall was launched in December 2017 at the United Nations in New York during the Assembly of Ministers.

She took part in the reform and drafting of laws in Jamaica and is well known as a strong proponent of and authority on women's rights.

First Vice-President Troitiñois, a Panamanian, held office in Panama's judiciary as a Justice of the Supreme Court of which she was vice-president. She also presided over the Chamber for Criminal Cases, and was a judge for the High Court on children and adolescent affairs.

She participated in the Special Commission that proposed constitutional reforms in Panama in 2011, and on the commission that elaborated the Code of Constitutional Procedures in 2016.

She has a degree in Philosophy, Letters and Education, with a specialisation in Pedagogy, as well as a degree in Law and Political Science. Her post-graduate studies are in gender, with a specialisation in family and childhood, as well as constitutional affairs. She is an academic and a professor at the University of Panama.

Second Vice-President Silva is from Colombia. He holds a doctorate in Law and Social Sciences from Colombia's Universidad Libre, with a specialisation in family law from that institution, and has a doctorate in private law and personal and family law from the Universidad de Zaragoza.

He was a magistrate of the Constitutional Court of Colombia and served as its president. He also presided over the Special Monitoring Chamber for eight years, which was created by the Constitutional Court to execute the structural sentence of protection of the rights of the displaced population due to the internal armed conflict. He is a university professor and author of essays, lectures and books on procedural and constitutional law.

The IACHR is a principal, autonomous body of the OAS which derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area.

It is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

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