The Culture of Peace, New Minister of the Supreme Court

Women belong to all places where decisions are made.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Despite the fact that we have practically been unable to stop discrimination, harassment and violence against women and that, as an exception, we have allowed and encouraged them to occupy their rightful place in society and in the social fabric, it is to be recognized that President López Obrador has encouraged brilliant women to occupy key positions in fundamental tasks of national institutions.

Such is the case of its recent shortlist of candidates to occupy the position of Minister of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation to fill the vacancy that Minister José Fernando Franco González Salas will leave, in which two women appeared.

From that shortlist, last week the Plenary of the Senate of the Republic elected Loretta Ortiz Ahlf as Minister of the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation, with 92 votes in favor, who will take office on December 13.

Regardless of the training, professional experience and qualities of Dr. Ortiz Ahlf, which guarantee her good performance as a judge of the highest rank in Mexico, her arrival at the highest court is excellent news for mediation in Mexico.

Indeed, Dr. Ortiz Ahlf, in addition to being a lawyer, was also trained as a mediator, so one of her credentials is that of a professional mediator.

Let us remember that mediation is one of the peaceful mechanisms for the management, prevention and resolution of disputes, also called jurisdictional equivalents or alternative justice procedures that not only promote the participation of civil society, but also represent advantages over some formal judicial procedures by offering the possibility of extrajudicially solving conflicts of interest, when possible. Of these mechanisms, it is mediation that breaks the winner-loser syndrome present in trials and arbitrations. This is due to its flexibility that ensures agility, efficiency and legal certainty in the very short term that also saves money and personal wear and tear.

The creation of specialized institutions in the provision of services for the management and resolution of disputes using the aforementioned peaceful mechanisms is based on the dogmatic part of the Constitution. It is already an individual guarantee for people to participate directly in the resolution of their controversies or conflicts, without the tutelage of State bodies.

The Constitution of Mexico City and 26 of the 31 local laws on alternative justice expressly regulate mediation, since it is this mechanism that represents the greatest advantages in the management and resolution of legal conflicts and more recently for the management, prevention and resolution of social controversies. It should be clarified that these are not provisions drafted from a model that emerged from the federal government or from some predominant model. From their study and analysis we have found more coincidences than differences.

Minister Loretta Ortiz Ahlf, who, as we have already mentioned, is also a professional mediator, has contributed to the construction of a Mexican mediation system and its legal framework by publishing specialized articles and supporting proposals presented to the Senate of the Republic regarding the General Law initiative. of Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms whose issuance, despite the fact that the Congress of the Union has expressly empowered to do so since February 2017, is still pending.

It should be borne in mind that we have a Mexican mediation system whose construction has required a constant effort of almost twenty-five years and that the general legislation should take advantage of the drafting and improvement of the initiative for the General Law of Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms presented by important group of Senators.

The new Minister Ortiz Ahlf, due to her condition as mediator, is aware that peaceful coexistence, harmony and the culture of peace are lines of national life that deserve attention.

Living in a society in which conflicts are not an exception, but are part of normality and that – unfortunately – are handled more frequently in a violent way, the presence of a mediator in the Supreme Court of Justice will surely contribute to enrich criteria and the expansion of the use of self-compounding justice in our country, which may include the realization of one of the pending projects on the matter, which is the creation, organization and entry into operation of a mediation center of the Judicial Branch of the Federation.

To the extent that access to peaceful mechanisms for the management, prevention and resolution of disputes is expanded, it contributes to the consolidation of a peaceful coexistence and a culture of peace.

In its first three years of government, which are ending today, the Executive has not given the opportunity to a cultural transformation so that the solution of controversies or conflicts can be found, in many cases, with its institutional participation and thus contribute to building a better future.

Let us use dialogue to overcome polarization and disagreements, as well as to restore the social fabric.

We hope that the administration of Minister Loretta Ortiz is a success, congratulations.

* The author is a lawyer and professional mediator.


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Twitter: @Phmergoldd

Pascual Hernández Mergoldd

Professional lawyer and mediator

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