His Excellence José Antonio Pineda Barales, president of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Republic of Guatemala and the 11 justices of this Honorable Justice Corporation, members of the Honorable Presidium, excellent judges, magistrates, prosecutors of High Courts and Courts of Justice of international order; prosecutors, defenders, international human rights organizations, illustrious political, judicial, academic authorities, students.
Distinguished friends, ladies and gentlemen.
Good morning. I extend a respectful greeting, and I thank each of you for your participation, knowing that for many of you it has meant a great effort. I also extend my sincere gratitude to the Honorable Supreme Court of Justice of Guatemala for their willingness and support, which has contributed in making this event a reality and a success.
As Executive President of the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace, I am honored today to give the opening address for the Justice and Democracy Session, within the framework of the Peace Integration Summit - CUMIPAZ GUATEMALA 2018.
The main objective of this Session is to generate a space that allows for reflection on the importance of the value of justice, the preservation of its natural essence, its scope, and its own attributes, considering that its natural effect and function is, and will be, to generate peace, harmony, and permanent security for a prosperous world.
We begin with the principle of responsibility that each and every human being has in reaching a just and free world where we can enjoy of rights and freedoms.
We consider the pressing need for us to advance in the strengthening of a universal or global justice and of international cooperation within our roles; reason why this space has annually sought to collectively generate proposals aimed at achieving efficient, effective, and timely justice throughout the planet, and do so more equitably. Also, so that we may generate processes of reflection, and thus identify challenges, but also strategies, that guarantee access to justice as a fundamental principle of State of law, eliminating the barriers of exclusion that have prevented its solidification, and that we establish roadmaps aimed at the promotion, defense, recognition, and respect of human rights, based on the recognition and respect of human dignity.
Being justice the universal virtue that allows us to act based on truth, integrity, equality, fair compensation, compliance with laws and processes, and respect for rights, the challenge consists in rescuing and also preserving the original scope of justice and how it was conceived: Based on respect for the law, generating harmonious balance, allowing it to fulfill its main purpose: Achieving the peace and happiness of the integral human being and of Mother Earth as a living being.
Judicial systems are the fundamental pillars of justice. We consider these to be the field of action where it is exercised. Its essence is also noble, since its pillars were founded and are based on impartiality, equality, integrity, and honesty. Hence, the need for the human being –who ends up directing and stimulating the system and applies concrete justice– to coincide with these principles. For this, it is necessary to cultivate the value of justice IN THEIR HEART, considering that the criteria of what is just and unjust, of giving each one his own, and of respecting the right and the essence of the others, originates there.
Justice and judicial systems are aimed at maintaining balance and just order. They require that their operators and society –tending to the principle of democratization of justice– be aware that the foundation of all systems is the human being, beginning with an integral concept of a human person, holder of rights and duties, a being with responsibility that needs to be fostered.
The principles that guide the administration of justice have been unknown to humans, generating weaknesses and serious ailments to the system, which in most opportunities has generated crisis or ignorance of judicial mechanisms as the model to solve a situation in a legitimate and just way.
The political principle of separation of powers raised by Montesquieu, also the principles of independence, legality, and non-corruption, generate balance and guarantees of protection of individual and collective rights in a State of law. In conclusion, it is not judicial systems –and much less justice– that becomes corrupted; it is human beings who disown the respect and promotion of due process, which must be shielded with the highest public interest.
In that sense we have been proposing, beginning from the educational theory for the peace and happiness of the integral human being, the importance of forming the human being in his or her heart, with values and principles. This theory states that the value of justice rests in the heart, as well as free will, and invites the human being to perform imaginary exercises that allow him or her to project the balance of justice in a symbolic way, and as such, separate the possibilities of their performance and identify the possible consequences of their behavior.
Finally, free will (using scales as an analogy for justice) will generate equilibrium; and through a weighting trial will decide whether or not to act justly. Knowing how to decide in a just way depends to a large extent on the values and principles that the human being has cemented, defining –as a final point– the side that tilts the scales.
We must all consider ourselves an active part of the process that allows achieving the consolidation of universal justice. Justice is not only of interest to judicial operators, scholars of law or social sciences. It is of interest to all humanity; taking into account that it can be made effective in all the behaviors we exercise. In this sense, we see justice as the attribute of common interest, which has the capacity to achieve the long-awaited peace and happiness in our surroundings.
I take leave of this distinguished audience predicting success, inviting us to take advantage of this Session as an opportunity to strengthen ties, unite our tireless efforts, and seek channels that allow us to defend and achieve the ideal of justice and strengthen the judicial sector together. Inviting you all to also maintain the hope of building societies in peace and security, which recognize the value of equality, and thus, the respect for human dignity, love, and freedom.
It is important that we all learn to value justice, that we learn to KNOW HOW TO DECIDE IN A JUST WAY.