U.S. Ambassador to Colombia William R. Brownfield was present at the 12th Regular Jurisdiction Meeting held November 5-6, 2009 in Paipa, Boyaca. Regular jurisdiction in Colombia includes civil, family, labor, and criminal matters. This is an annual event organized by the Colombian Supreme Court of Justice to bring together key members of the Colombian judicial branch and discuss topics related to the sector’s development. This year the topic was Access to Justice.
Thanks to the support provided by the U.S. Government – through its Agency for International Development (USAID)- and the Department of Justice, two important US justices participated at the event: David Briones, Texas Senior U.S. District Judge and Edward Prado, 5th U.S. District Judge.
The U.S. Government has strongly supported the strengthening of the Colombian judicial sector. Under Plan Colombia, the U.S. government has allotted over US $150 million to strengthen the country’s judicial system in order to make it more effective and accessible. This has included providing support for conversion to the criminal accusatory system, training and technical assistance to members of the judicial sector, strengthening of the justice administration, greater access to justice for vulnerable and underserved populations, and support and aid to the general population so they can be a part of the judicial reform.