On the afternoon of Tuesday (20), there was the continuity of the Conference of Judges and Prosecutors at the World Water Forum, at the Convention Center. Through a member who was once the president of the Supreme Court of Argentina, Ricardo Lorenzetti, panel participants were informed of the production of the first official document made by judges from almost all states of the world on water: the Global Judicial Institute. The document aims to standardize legal matters involving environmental law, and more specifically, aspects relating to water.
“We have a big challenge ahead. We have an immense need for water and justice. Since Rio+20, the judiciary is more united, and today I present the Global Judicial Institute. And it is really global. We have judges from Austria, Australia, Brazil, Latin America, USA, the Philippines, United States and from all over the world. It is the first document made by judges on Water Justice. The document was guided by principles such as access to water, the most important idea is preventing rather than dis-polluting,” said Lorenzetti.
Marina Silva, former Environment Minister of Brazil, was also on the panel, and spoke about the event and praised the Declaration Signed by members from various countries. “Water should not be treated as an economic value. It may even provide income. But it has a vital, symbolic, and religious value to those who believe. This document means that one more conquest has been institutionalized. As I've been a Minister of Environment, I know how this charter is important, provided everyone take it seriously. Because we're in an unprecedented crisis”, she noted.
Pedro Soares, member of the Assembly of the Republic of Portugal, commented on the Declaration signed today: “it Is necessary to pay attention to social control, as this is of paramount importance for the legislation to be applied. There's no point in having strong laws and a civil society that is not on a strong footing. The public interest must always be in the foreground”.
Arnold Kreilhuber, head of UN International Environmental Law Unit, estimated that the Declaration should serve for environmental judges, and attorneys, throughout the world to be in touch with more frequency. “We should use the Institute for the world to evolve more and more. We have to engage more and more people. Four environmental activists are killed each week. It is really scary to me,” he said.
The Attorney General of the Republic, Raquel Dogde, stressed how essential is the union of all the countries, regardless of level of development. “We have to think of water for the planet. There's no point in thinking individually. This meeting with the judges, parliamentarians must be more frequent,” he said. “We live in a globalized world, where tomorrow any country can suffer with lack of water, either in quantity or quality. It is important for us to create an interest in helping each other and be inspired in the good experiences of our neighbours and allies,” she concluded.
The mediation of the panel of Judges and Prosecutors in the first two days of the 8th World Water Forum was held by the Minister of the Superior Tribunal of Justice (STJ), Herman Benjamin.