“The Role of Judges and Women Judges in Building a Safer and More Equitable World” by the Hon. Josefa Izaga Pellegrin

In today’s society, we have an imperative, urgent and necessary duty which consists of knowing how to interpret any type of crisis as a challenge and to adopt a new, more humanitarian perspective for a better future, where peace prevails and a better quality of life for all humanity is achieved – for adults, children, adolescents and the new generations that are to be born.

I want to express with a deep humanitarian feeling that it is urgent to change our way of thinking from the places and institutions where we are and believe that all together we can break the scourge of indifference, the gaps of equal treatment and situations like the ones we are experiencing now with this global health crisis.

I feel nostalgic that one day, we can all live in harmony and understand that this health crisis is not the main problem, but that there are many other serious situations such as climate change, pollution and indifference, which are affecting the life of human beings. Faced with such a situation, we have a moral duty to take on new challenges. Firstly, that of saving lives, and secondly, knowing how to tolerate each other, despite our differences. We need to understand that life, health, education and other basic rights are of equal importance to economic progress; not an economic progress of a certain sector that undermines us with world poverty, but an economic progress for the general welfare of humanity.

With great force, I must tell the whole world that our planet earth needs men and women capable of knowing how to respect the place where we live like the rational living beings that we are and that this is an individual commitment. We should not only leave it into the hands of politicians that have always known how to impart a discourse of lies and whose selfish decisions have not contributed to the welfare of the people.

Perhaps for now, we are isolated and, for many, this pandemic has taken away our loved ones, some of which we have not had the opportunity to say goodbye to. But, despite this difficult context, we must not lose sight of the fact that it is not only the pandemic but also selfishness, indifference, corruption or other conducts with personal interests, factors that are about to destroy human existence. However, this life lesson we must take as a new rebirth for humanity and, above all, we need to understand that life is a miracle for which we must be grateful and we must honor it with respect for nature and all its living beings.

Therefore, it is time to rethink and put aside a selfish national sentiment to start thinking about a free world without borders that allows us to fight together against the scourge of corruption, disastrous climate change and the spread of diseases, with the purpose of trying to build a safe and healthy world, not for a certain state but for all humanity.

We cannot ignore that the whole of humanity is crying out to find a solution to the problem of inequality, discrimination, water scarcity, global warming, military attacks between States, the use of weapons and the lack of education. So instead, with the help of science and technology, we must find a solution so that we can all enjoy a safe, healthy and equitable life for all of humanity. Even if it sounds like an illusion or a utopia, we must start to change or nature itself will take care of us. This is the central point that we must discuss with world leaders and judges of all the Judicial Powers must take on new challenges and not be oblivious to this brutal reality, imparting humanitarian justice and serving society at an international level.

In this sense, we need a multilateral relationship without selfishness to limit the atrocities of human beings against themselves, against their own race, gender, religion, environment. Therefore, justice is at the height of being able to alleviate these situations, and this makes it possible to seek global cohesion to have a more equitable and secure world. This is the hope that we must have as a goal together. It may be a chimera, but I am sure that we need to change our way of thinking and acting. And indeed, as judges we have a particular duty and let us not forget that we are part of one of the most important institutions that must provide equitable justice, justice with security, tranquility and world peace, in difficult times like the one we now have to live.

We need to show solidarity and begin to build a current scientific history, capable of overcoming greed and giving greater importance to human life around the world. Because it is not possible that in the Peruvian State that I represent, a land blessed with a lot of vegetation, sufficient drinking water, a multicolored geography, many people suffer from hunger, die of disease or from the scourge of cold and that due to acts of corruption, many of our compatriots and children are left without access to health and education, and many others, who have been victims of crimes against humanity for many decades, have not yet achieved justice.

We cannot ignore these situations, it is fair and necessary for each and every judge worldwide to become aware of and have greater empathy with the people to deliver justice, but not in a symbolic way or with international standards with empty content, but rather to contribute objectively from the perspective of international justice and stop all the atrocities of those behaviors that damage life and nature. This is the greatest challenge that we must pose and take actions in the short and long term, for which, together, we must fight to achieve it, since if we do not do so, we are part of those who affect the minimum rights of society and the whole world.

But for this, we need to change our behavior. To achieve a better world, we need to be less selfish, more supportive, more empathetic with others who demand justice. Even more, we need to have international agreements to give opportunity to the most vulnerable populations of the world and to guarantee their basic needs.

It is imperative that international institutions take on new challenges of sowing new dreams for a better world and of coexistence with people who have commitment and will to do things well, not with a symbolic discourse that considers us all equal, which is usually a fantasy of the oppressive class that will always exist, but with joint actions worldwide to improve the quality of life of the most vulnerable societies. Let us leave behind the wars between States, let us fight together with determination against the pollution of the environment, racial discrimination, world poverty that is a latent problem. Therefore, our judicial institution has the legal and moral duty to contribute by imparting justice with objectivity, respecting the minimum rights of humanity, avoiding barriers to access to justice due to skin color, economic condition, sexual choice or level of education.

The proposal that I present deserves a solidarity and collective effort of world order, although the discourse seems to be a paradox overcome by reality, however, there is still enough hope that this dream is possible to seek security, equity, stability, peace and social justice that we long for, but, mainly, we need to start by changing ourselves, let’s not just look around us, expand our expectations of knowing how to govern ourselves and then the world, with effort and multilateral commitment, or we will have died in nothingness, for not having been able to overcome obstacles, today, such as the global pandemic.

Finally, let us not forget that as members of the Judicial Power of the countries of the world that we represent, we are as responsible as serious politicians to change a world of crisis towards a better and happy world, but a world without dream paradises, but rather learning to live our own life in a healthy land.

And I want to say goodbye with this phrase from the Peruvian poet César Vallejo, who said: “There is, my brothers, a lot to do.”

The article was written by IAWJ member, Judge Josefa Izaga Pellegrin. The views presented in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the IAWJ.