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confiscated shark fins
Shark fins confiscated by the Environmental Unit
of the National Police, during a 2009 operation
in Galapagos.

Led by Sea Shepherd's legal advisor for Galapagos, Hugo Echeverria, on September 20, 2010 Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, World Wildlife Fund and Conservation International, presented to PROJUSTICIA (a technical unit of the Ministry of Justice working on the modernization of the judicial system) a legal brief justifying the need to create a Specialized Judiciary on Rights for Nature in the province of Galapagos, Ecuador.

This initiative has the support of the Galapagos National Park Directorate, who is the administrative and management authority of the National Park and the Galapagos Marine Reserve.

The need for establishing specialized judicial bodies in Galapagos is justified by the extraordinary natural heritage of the islands, which is protected by national legislation and international environmental treaties. In this context, the Galapagos special legislation provides for a leading role of the Judicial System, particularly on ecological crimes, for which it is necessary to have a specialized judiciary.

In 2008, Ecuador became the first country to recognize nature as a subject of rights. The Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador recognizes the rights of nature to be respected and restored. In 2009, the Organic Code of the Judicial Function was created, which specifically provides for the creation of special judiciaries to address claims on violation of the rights of nature. The Law authorizes its establishment by the Consejo de la Judicatura, the country's Judicial Council.

Worldwide, there are some experiences of creating specialized judicial bodies. However, none of them can be compared with special judiciaries under the Code of Judicial Function of Ecuador, since this rule responds to a unique constitutional context: the recognition of rights to nature.

With the creation of specialized judiciaries, Ecuador could lead this new global trend.

The petitioners have requested PROJUSTICIA to inform this initiative to Consejo de la Judicatura of Ecuador, for purposes of analyzing the creation of the first Specialized Judiciary on Rights for Nature in the country.

hammerhead sharksThe Constitution of Ecuador recognizes the right of nature to be respected.
Effective implementation of the Constitution of Ecuador requires a specialized judicial system.

 

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Liderada por el asesor juridico de Sea Shepherd Galapagos, Hugo Echeverria, el 20 de septiembre del 2010, las organizaciones Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, World Wildlife Fund y Conservacion Internacional, presentaron a PROJUSTICIA (Unidad Tecnica del Ministerio de Justicia del Ecuador) un estudio juridico que justifica la necesidad de establecer JUDICATURAS ESPECIALIZADAS EN DERECHOS DE LA NATURALEZA en la provincia de Galapagos, Ecuador.

confiscated shark fins
Aletas de tiburon comisadas por la Unidad Ambiental de la Policia Nacional del Ecuador en un operativo realizado en Galapagos en el ano 2009

Esta iniciativa conto con el valioso respaldo de la Direccion del Parque Nacional Galapagos, quien es la autoridad competente para administrar y manejar el Parque Nacional y la Reserva Marina de Galapagos.

La necesidad de establecer JUDICATURAS DE LA NATURALEZA en Galapagos se justifica por su extraordinario patrimonio natural, que esta protegido por la legislacion nacional y por tratados internacionales ambientales. En este contexto, la legislacion especial aplicable en la region insular preve un papel protagonico del sistema judicial, especialmente en materia penal ecologica; para lo cual es necesario contar con una Funcion Judicial especializada.

En el ano 2008, Ecuador se convirtio en el primer pais del mundo en reconocer la calidad de sujeto de derechos a la naturaleza. En el ano 2009 entro en vigencia el Codigo Organico de la Funcion Judicial que, de manera especifica, preve la creacion de judicaturas especiales para conocer ? reclamaciones por violacion de los derechos de la naturaleza ?. La norma faculta al Consejo de la Judicatura su establecimiento y tambien la distribucion de la competencia en razon del territorio y la materia.

A nivel mundial existen algunas experiencias de creacion de espacios judiciales especializados en materia ambiental. No obstante, ninguna de ellas puede compararse con las judicaturas especiales previstas en el articulo 246 del Codigo Organico de la Funcion Judicial del Ecuador, ya que dicha norma  responde a un contexto constitucional pionero en el mundo: el relativo al reconocimiento de derechos a la naturaleza.

Con la creacion de judicaturas especializadas, Ecuador lideraria esta nueva tendencia global.

Las organizaciones peticionarias han solicitado a PROJUSTICIA que, en el marco de los procesos estatales para la modernizacion de la Funcion Judicial, la iniciativa sea transmitida al Consejo de la Judicatura del Ecuador, para efectos de analizar la creacion de la PRIMERA JUDICATURA ESPECIALIZADA EN DERECHOS DE LA NATURALEZA DEL PAIS.

hammerhead sharksLa Constitucion del Ecuador reconoce el derecho de la naturaleza a ser respetada.
La efectiva aplicacion de la Constitucion requiere de una  funcion judicial especializada.

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