The Vance Center advances global justice by engaging lawyers across borders to support civil society and an ethically active legal profession.

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Forum Announcement: The Havana Peace Negotiations: What will Colombians Be Approving and How?

On November 13, 2014 Colombia's Universidad del Rosario, El Tiempo, and the Hanns Seidel Foundation, with the support of the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice, held a forum to discuss progress made and challenges remaining in the Colombian government's peace negotiations with the FARC currently taking place in Havana, Cuba. Speakers from the negotiation team, experts on the Colombian conflict and peace process, and political parties' representatives discussed the issues on the agenda for the negotiations, namely land reform, political participation, the drug trade, and victims' participation. Participants also shared their views on the end of the conflict, disarmament, and a potential referendum for approval of the peace accord and it's subsequent implementation.

Watch a recording of the livestream of the event here


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Vance Center Partner Jose Ugaz to Head Transparency International

Leading Peruvian anti-corruption attorney, Jose Ugaz, this weekend won election as the new chair of Transparency International. A partner of Benites, Forno & Ugaz in Peru, he is best known for leading the investigation against former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori for corruption and human rights abuses. He recently participated in the Vance Center's second delegation to Guatemala to assess the state of the judiciary (click here to access report), having also joined in the first delegation examining the prosecution of former president Efrain Rios Montt (click here to access report). As a leader of Alianza Pro Bono Peru, he is a key partner in the Vance Center's promotion of pro bono practice in the Americas.


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President Barack Obama's nominee for United States Attorney General, U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch, speaks on the Vance Center.


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Michael Cooper Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

The Vance Center congratulates Emeritus Vance Center Committee Member Michael Cooper on his receipt of a Lifetime Achievement Award from The American Lawyer. This prestigious award recognizes lawyers who have had long, distinguished careers and shown a dedication to public service. Mike is of counsel at Sullivan & Cromwell and a former litigation partner there. He was president of the New York City Bar Association from 1998 to 2000. (Click here to access.)


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Vance Center Environment Program Celebrates Ground-Breaking Water Rights Award to Client in Mexico

For the first time in its history, Mexico’s National Water Commission (CONAGUA) has awarded a surface water concession for “environmental use” to conserve natural water resources and protect fragile ecosystems. CONAGUA’s decision represents an innovative departure from traditional types of water rights concessions, which have commonly been granted for industrial, agricultural, or other consumptive purposes. The concession was awarded to Vance Center client Pronatura Noreste, a non-profit environmental organization in Northeastern Mexico, which received critical pro bono legal assistance along the way from the law firm of Von Wobeser and Sierra. The legal certainty and rights provided by the concession will allow Pronatura Noreste to more effectively protect the fragile ecology in the Cuatro Ciénegas region, where unique and biodiverse wetlands are threatened by excessive extraction of water.

For more, please see their press release (English | Spanish), as well as a recent news article in Mexico’s “Reforma” newspaper (Spanish).