Lawfare: legal wars

Carol Proner (Brazil)
Lawyer. She is a member of the Puebla Group and the Brazilian Association of Lawyers for Democracy.
ELAG Executive Coordinator.

Gisele Ricobom (Brazil)
Lawyer and Doctor in Human Rights. University teacher.

Silvina Romano (Argentina)
Doctor in Political Science. CONICET researcher.

Larissa Ramina (Brazil)
Doctor of Law and Jurist. University professor.

Guamán Worship (Ecuador)
Doctor of Law, specialist in labor law. University teacher and researcher.

Pedro Serrano (Brazil)
Constitutional lawyer. Professor of Constitutional Law.

Baltasar Garzon (Spain)
Former judge of the Spanish National Court.

Eugenio Zaffaroni (Argentina)
Judge of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
Former Judge of the Argentine Supreme Court.

Juárez Tavares (Brazil)
Former Deputy Attorney General of the Republic of Brazil.
Doctor of Law and university professor specializing in criminal law.

This course seeks to address the problem of the use of law for political, economic and destabilization purposes in Latin American countries. Under the coordination of Carol Proner, it has the participation of an outstanding group of professors, lawyers, jurists and specialists in law: Adoración Guamán, Silvina Romano, Larissa Ramina, Baltasar Garzón, Gisele Ricobom, Juarez Tavares, Pedro Serrano and Eugenio Zaffaroni. Based on these presences, five fundamental dimensions of lawfare will be exposed: legal warfare as an unconventional geopolitical strategy; the state of exception and times of liquid authoritarianism in Latin America; lawfare as a component of asymmetric international relations and as a key mechanism for lex mercatoria; the less visible aspects of lawfare and its use as a tool for neo-fascism and anti-politics; and the self-defense strategies of states and societies against lawfare.


Presentation of the general axes of the course and the speakers in each of the classes

Class 1

The legal war as a key mechanism for a geopolitical strategy for the recomposition of global financial capitalism. Two instruments, two axes of domination: the relationship between lawfare and the lex mercatoria, the normative basis of market authoritarianism. The instrumental use of the law to persecute leaders, parties and autonomous projects of society. The creation of a legal architecture to shield and grant privileges to transnationalized capital. Neoliberalism and authoritarianism: drifts from historical fascism. The case of Ecuador: from accusations of corruption to prosecutions for crimes of rebellion and threats to national security.

Class 2

Lawfare and neoliberalism: the geostrategic dimension of the use of law for purposes of political persecution. The institutional architecture around asymmetric center-periphery relations. The standardization of the judicial apparatus in Latin America and the direct interference of the United States Department of Justice. The destabilization of progressive governments in the region through an alleged crusade against corruption. The impact of lawfare on geopolitics: the cases of Brazil and Ecuador. The antipolitical discourse and the blockade of state intervention projects in the economy.

Class 3

Lawfare in the historical context of the construction of the normative and institutional framework for the fight against corruption. A historical journey: the Watergate case, the war on drugs, the United States' Anti-Corruption Act (FCPA) (1977), the UN Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (1988), the Anti-Bribery Convention OECD (1997), the Palermo Convention (2000), and the United Nations Convention against Corruption (2003). The extraterritorial use of US jurisdiction for the purposes of political and economic destabilization in Latin American countries.

Class 4

How is our rule of law being affected in democratic countries? The improper use of legal instruments for the purposes of political persecution, destruction of the public image and disqualification of political adversaries. Its combination with extensive communication campaigns of pressure and harassment. Causes, historical routes, paradigmatic cases of lawfare and possible paths to follow. Towards a progressive and progressive justice at the service of the people and in defense of human rights: ethics, independence and impartiality as essential values.

Class 5

Law, state of exception and lawfare. A critical appreciation of the classical concept of sovereignty and its link with the notion of citizenship. The manifestation of the state of exception in the exercise of legal power: the criminalization of political enemies. Its dependence on a judicial, regulatory, military and media apparatus at the service of the dominant power. The model crimes today: corruption and money laundering. Lawfare as the foundation of authoritarianism in Latin American democracies. Some primary conditions to establish a truly democratic regime in our region and guide the law towards the real protection of people.

Class 6

State of exception, authoritarianism and legal warfare. Exceptional governments as models of state authoritarianism during the XNUMXth century. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the emergence of liquid authoritarianism: exceptional measures within democracy. The new global governance and the trinomial between financial, technological and military capital. The emergence of governments of resistance in Latin America. The counterattack through lawfare operations against governments and political leaders in the region: exceptional criminal proceedings and unconstitutional impeachments. The sanctioning hypernomy and the privatist hermeneutics.

Class 7

Lawfare within the framework of the late colonialism to which the Latin American region is subjected. From original colonialism and neocolonialism to the current late colonialism. The kidnapping of democracy by advertising magistrates and agents of financial totalitarianism. The criminalization of leaders of popular movements and political parties through illicit associations between a minority of judges, agents of public ministries, pseudo-journalists and intelligence services. The guarantee of impunity for local agents and the selectivity of the punitive power. The pathological institutional deformation of the jurisdictional function as a dimension of lawfare.

Class 8

The expansion of Lawfare's concept towards a perspective focused on the international action of neoliberalism. The legal war as part of a strategy that, ultimately, denies guarantees and the very legality of the institutions. The Brazilian case of Lava Jato: the supposed fight against corruption in the framework of a process of destruction of local economies in the name of market interests. Warnings and possible ways forward: the need for institutional reforms to prevent lawfare and regenerate the regulatory power of the Latin American states.


Carol Proner (Brazil)

Lawyer, Doctor in international law from the Pablo de Olavide University. Professor at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). Co-director of the Master in Human Rights UPO-UNIA-Sevilla. Director of the Joaquín Herrera Flores-AL Institute. Former member of the Amnesty Commission of the Ministry of Justice of Brazil. Founding member of the Brazilian Association of Jurists for Democracy of Brazil (ABJD). Author of studies on lawfare in Latin America and specialist in the process against Lula da Silva.

Worship Guamán (Ecuador / Spain)

Professor of labor law and social security at the University of Valencia and visiting professor at FLACSO Ecuador. Doctor, visiting professor at the Universities of Paris Ouest Nanterre and Nantes, researcher associated with the HOMA center (human rights and companies) in Brazil and the Joaquín Herrera Flores Human Rights Institute, as well as the Universidad Libre (Cali section). He also assiduously collaborates as a teacher in other European and Latin American universities. His main line of research is the relationship between transnational companies and human rights, added to the content and structure of the Trade and Investment Treaties and their impact on labor rights.

Silvina Romano (Argentina)

Adjunct Researcher at the National Council for Scientific and Technical Research (CONICET) at the Institute for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Buenos Aires. Coordinator of the Geopolitical Analysis Unit and the Lawfare Observatory of the Latin American Strategic Center for Geopolitics (CELAG). Member of the Working Group on Geopolitics, Regional Integration and the World System and of the Working Group of Studies on the United States of CLACSO. Postdoctoral fellow from the Center for Research on Latin America and the Caribbean (CIALC) of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). Doctor in Political Science, Graduate in History and Graduate in Social Communication from the National University of Córdoba. Specialist in US relations with Latin America.

Larissa Ramina (Brazil)

Jurist and Doctor of Law. Professor at the Federal University of Paraná. Member of the Brazilian Association of Jurists for Democracy and the Joaquín Herrera Flores Institute (Brazil). He has published various works on international law and international relations.

Baltasar Garzón (Spain)

Spanish judge. He has been a Magistrate of the Central Investigating Court of the National High Court from 1988 to 2012, specializing in crimes such as: crimes against humanity, terrorism, State terrorism, drug trafficking, political corruption and economic crime. He has acted in important cases such as crimes of the Franco regime, against Augusto Pinochet, cases of the Argentine dictatorship and the Guantánamo case. He has served as an advisor to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, also in defense of Julian Assange. He has been coordinator of international advice for the Secretariat of Human Rights of Argentina. He has acted as an advisor to the Attorney General's Office in Colombia and in Ecuador he has been appointed coordinator of the International Oversight of Justice Reform. Recently, he has dedicated himself to observing lawfare in Latin America and Spain.

Juarez Tavarez (Brazil)

Lawyer, Doctor in Criminal Law. Professor at the University of the State of Rio de Janeiro. Member of the Brazilian Association of Jurists for Democracy of Brazil (ABJD). Former Attorney of the Republic of Brazil. Author of major legal works, such as "Teoria do Injusto Penal", "Direito Penal da Negligência and" Good Law and Function in Criminal Law ". He has articles and works with Raúl Zaffaroni. He is very attentive to the entire lawfare process in Brazil.

Pedro Serrano (Brazil)

Constitutional lawyer. Professor of Constitutional Law. Member of the Brazilian Association of Jurists for Democracy of Brazil (ABJD). Author of studies regarding the justice system and the state of exception. Author of the book "Authoritarianism and coups in Latin America".

Eugenio Zaffaroni (Argentina)

Argentine jurist and magistrate. He was a minister of the Argentine Supreme Court from 2003 to 2014 and, since 2015, he is a judge of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Emeritus professor and director of the Department of Criminal Law and Criminology at the University of Buenos Aires. He is also Doctor Honoris Causa by the University of the State of Rio de Janeiro, by the Federal University of Ceará, by the Catholic University of Brasilia and by the FIEO University Center. He is vice president of the International Association of Criminal Law. His theories are widely disseminated in Brazil, having published books in Portuguese, as a co-author, with José Henrique Pierangeli, Nilo Batista and Ílison Santos. He is very interested in the issue of lawfare from the deformation of the pathological institutionality of the jurisdictional function.

Gisele ricobom (Brazil)

Lawyer, doctor in international law from the Pablo de Olavide University. Professor of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) and of the Master's Degree in Contemporary Integration of Latin America-ICAL of the Federal University of Latin American Integration (UNILA). Director of the Joaquín Herrera Flores-AL Institute. Member of the Brazilian Association of Jurists for Democracy of Brazil (ABJD). Author of books and articles on human rights, democracy and the justice system. Lawfare Specialist from DIP perspective.

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