Saturday, July 6, 2013

Litigating The Right To Peace: On-Demand MCLE

In 2003, Luis Roberto Zamora Bolaños sued the government of Costa Rica for violating the Peace Clause in its Constitution by supporting warlike acts. He won, and the government backed off! 
How did he do it and what can we learn from this?

This is a recording of a lecture delivered June 22, 2013 at Seattle University School of Law.
In it, Zamora discusses
  • Costa Rica’s “Peace Constitution”;
  • His successful lawsuit to block the Costa Rican government's unconstitutional support for the 2003 invasion of Iraq;
  • The use of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights to protect and institutionalize the right to peace;
  • How a law student who had not even completed his formal education successfully litigated the right to peace.
Costa Rican attorney Luis Roberto Zamora Bolaños 
Date Recorded:
June 22, 2013
  • UPDATED MAY 5, 2015: the WSBA MCLE department is currently DENYING CREDIT for this event, claiming that the WSBA CLE Department is asserting intellectual property rights to this program and denying the use of its content. This may be headed to litigation; contact your Board of Governors member if you wish the Washington State Bar Association to allow Sections to post recordings of their events without obstruction by their CLE Department.
  • Washington State: Recordings of live events granted CLE credit are themselves eligible for AV credit
  • Other jurisdictions: Consult your credit-granting authority.

Event Sponsored By:
  • WSBA World Peace Through Law Section
  • The Seattle Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild
  • With support from 
    • El Centro de la Raza
    • 4freeCLE the Newsletter of Free CLE
    • Veterans And Friends of Puget Sound
    • Room donated by Seattle University School of Law

Event Handout

Resources/Costa Rica:
  • Constitution Article 12:“The Army as a permanent institution is abolished. There shall be the necessary police forces for surveillance and the preservation of the public order.
    Military forces may only be organized under a continental agreement or for the national defense; in either case, they shall always be subordinate to the civil power: they may not deliberate or make statements or representations individually or collectively.”
  • U.S. Library of Congress Research Guide (many links to official sources and aggregates of information):
  • Peace As A Human Right (organization):
  • Costa Rica Court Invalidates Presidential Decree Militarizing Police”, April 2010:
  • Amparo concerning docking of US Naval Vessels in Costa Rica”, July 2010:

  • Constitution Article 9:“(1) Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes. (2) To accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.
  • U.S. Library of Congress Research Guide (many links to official sources and aggregates of information):