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Ibero-American Magistrates meet in Panama to discuss the importance of Constitutional Justice in the protection of the Rule of Law

Panama City, May 16th 2018

The Magistrates of several Constitutional Courts, Supreme Courts and Constitutional Chambers of more than a dozen Ibero-American countries met in Panama from May 16th to 18th to celebrate the Twelfth Ibero-American Meeting on Constitutional Justice.


Over this three-day workshop, a series of discussion forums and conferences were organised in order to analyse the significant role achieved by constitutional justice in the promotion and the protection of the Rule of Law. The different working groups addressed issues such as the operational structure of constitutional and ordinary jurisdictions; constitutional competences: the judicial protection of social, economic, environmental and cultural rights; the media, internet and social networks, with a particular emphasis on Constitutional Law; constitutional Justice and people in vulnerable situations; as well as the relationship between constitutional protection and the Administration of Justice.


The magistrates agreed, among other considerations, that within the different conceptions concerning the articulation of the relations between the constitutional and ordinary jurisdictions, both of them share as one of their main responsibilities the legal protection of the Constitution and the preservation of the fundamental rights of citizens.

In addition, the Presidents of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Juridical Committee, the Venice Commission, and the Secretary of Legal Affairs of the Organisation of American States were also represented to these meetings.


One of the opening discourses was delivered by M. Juan José González Rivas, president of the Spanish Constitutional Court, who defended the inalienable rights of the human being, first and foremost his inherent dignity as well as the respect for the democratic principle. M. Gonzalez Rivas also emphasised "the very important mission that the Court has carried out and will continue to carry out in order to safeguard the Magna Carta, as a symbol and evidence of the peaceful coexistence between Spaniards".


M. Pedro González-Trevijano Sánchez, Permanent Secretary of the Ibero-American Conference on Constitutional Justice, reported on efforts that have been carried out and undertaken since the last session held in Lima in 2016, and participated in several other meetings during this conference.


Finally, M. Ricardo Enríquez Sancho, Magistrate of the Constitutional Court, addressed in his lecture the relations between the ordinary jurisdiction and the constitutional jurisdiction, from the point of view of its specificity.


Panama, 18 May 2018