First for PH: Azcuna elected to ICJ

Posted at 08/30/14 8:06 PM

Retired Supreme Court Justice Adolfo S. Azcuna. File Photo

MANILA -- (UPDATED) A former associate justice of the Supreme Court has been elected as one of the new commissioners of the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), an eminent international human rights non-governmental organization.

Adolfo Azcuna, who served as associate justice from 2002 to 2009, is the first Filipino who will sit in the ICJ. He is currently the chancellor of the Philippine Judicial Academy, which he has been leading since 2009.

Asked for comment, Azcuna told ABS-CBNnews.com: “I feel honored and happy.”

In a text message sent to reporters, presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said Azcuna is “a shining example of Filipino excellence in the field of law.”

“We are confident that ICJ will benefit from his long years as a jurist and as a trainor of judges. The first Filipino to be appointed to the ICJ, Justice Azcuna will serve a 5-year term as Commissioner commencing from August 12, 2014, and while the ICJ's headquarters are in Geneva, he will continue to work from Manila.”

Azcuna was recommended by the regional director after taking part in several activities in Myanmar, Cambodia and Thailand. “I have to take part in their activities in the region and represent the ICJ in certain for a and attend the annual meeting in Geneva,” he explained.

The ICJ is composed of 60 eminent judges and lawyers from all regions of the world. It "promotes and protects human rights through the Rule of Law, by using its unique legal expertise to develop and strengthen national and international justice systems."

Azcuna also served as presidential legal counsel during the Cory Aquino administration.

He was one of the 48 members of the Constitutional Commission to draft the charter that would build a stronger foundation for democracy following the People Power revolt at EDSA in February 1986.

Years later, as a magistrate of the high court, he would introduce another concept that highlights the protection of human rights.

He is the father of the “writ of Amparo” – which determines, among others, “the responsibility, or at least accountability for the enforced disappearance for purposes of imposing the appropriate remedies to address the disappearance.” – with reports from Ira May Joyce P. Pedrasa, ABS-CBNnews.com