U.S. Supports Strengthening of Public Defender System in Colombia

On February 4, 2010, the new Roberto Camacho Weverberg School of Public Defenders will be opened to provide better access to justice and guarantee people their fundamental rights. This new center is possible thanks to the support provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), which provided $165,000 to renovate, stock, and provide it with the technical assistance it needs to function. The opening ceremony will be held on Avenida 39 (Diagonal 40 A) No. 15-21 at 9:00 a.m. U.S. Ambassador William R. Brownfield, Ombudsman Volmar Perez, and representatives from the higher courts and the Prosecutor General’s Office will attend the inauguration ceremony.

In addition to training public defenders, this new learning center seeks to train operators of the judicial system and also provide them with further judicial and scientific knowledge to enhance both the quality and the efficiency of the public defender system in Colombia.

The new school seeks to implement a virtual campus that will provide its 2,500 defenders nationwide with full access to the most modern equipment and updated information on jurisprudence, through the School’s own website. This way, defenders will stay well informed and use this new equipment as a learning tool to study and stay updated on the latest cases and ongoing processes. Also, the newly installed defender lines will allow them to remain in contact with their colleagues.

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