IAWJ Represented at the Second Pan-American Judges Summit on Social Rights and Franciscan Doctrine Hosted by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences at the Vatican

On June 3 and 4, the Pontifical Academy of Sciences hosted the second Pan-American Judges Summit on Social Rights and Franciscan Doctrine at the Vatican. Judges from North, Central, and South America that work on the effective implementation of social, economic and cultural rights were invited to the Summit.

The goal of this conference was for participants to discuss how to realize people’s right to land, housing, and work; “how to challenge budgetary constraints and exogenous banking or financial controls based on countries’ foreign debt, [and] how to overcome political pressures and create a worldwide movement based on the unrestricted defence of social rights.”

The judges attending were invited to submit papers focused on the progress they have achieved based on the “Social Doctrine of the Church or ad hoc proposals for new legal practices in the courts.” These papers will be published in a special edition of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences to serve “as a theoretical basis for a future world meeting of Judges on Social, Economic and Cultural Rights and Franciscan Doctrine.”

The conference was also set to create a Permanent Pan American Board of Judges in Defense of Social Rights to facilitate regional coordination in the establishment of judicial policies regarding social, economic and cultural rights through training, courses, and committees to defend judges.

Pope Francis spoke at the closing ceremony to present a special document.

“Justice and judges can help us reorganize our social and economic life to uphold the values that create happiness such as contemplation, prayer, equity, fraternity, friendship, trust, environmental sustainability, and peace. Justice and judges can collaborate to achieve these values, creating the conditions to eradicate poverty, educate everyone, balance the climate, empower women, provide housing, bread, water and health care without exclusion, and ensure integral human development.”

The IAWJ was proudly represented by fourteen members who spoke at the meeting:

  • National Association of Women Judges – USA:
    • President, Hon. Tamila Ipema
    • Hon. Lisa Walsh
    • IAWJ Board Member, Hon. Lisette Shirdan-Harris
    • Hon. Joy Lobrano
    • Col. Linda Murnane
    • Hon. Marian Gaston
    • IAWJ Board of Managerial Trustees (BMT) member, Hon. Judith Chirlin
  • Canadian Chapter of the IAWJ
    • IAWJ BMT member, Hon. Tamarin Dunnet
  • Peruvian Association of Women Judges
    • President, Hon. Janet Tello
    • Hon. Elvira Alvarez Olazabal
  • Association of Women Judges of Argentina
    • President, Hon. Susana Medina
    • Hon. Fabiana Schafrik
    • Hon. Mariana Pucciarello
    • Hon. Graciela Eleonora Slavin

You can watch the meeting in the videos below!

Read more about the Summit here.