The Centre for Human Rights on 15 October hosted a seminar at which Ambassador Maria Teresa Infante, who is a candidate for a seat on the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, provided some reflections on the contribution of Latin America to international law.

The seminar, hosted in conjunction with the Chilean Embassy in South Africa, has as theme  ‘Latin America and international law: tradition and innovation’. It was held at the University of Pretoria, Hatfield Campus. Members of the diplomatic community and the University of Pretoria attended.

Ambassador Maria Teresa Infante delivered a presentation on Latin America and International law. Her presentation dealt in particular with the evolution of legal personality and customary international law in Chile, drawing on the broader evolution of Latin America in its interaction with customary international law. She engaged with these in the light of particular aspects of customary international law such as the law of the sea, international dispute settlement and the use of force.

Prof Dire Tladi of the Department of Public Law, University of Pretoria, responded to the presentation by acknowledging the contribution of Latin America to customary international law. He argued that there is a distinct Latin American approach to international customary law which has in its own way struck a balance between reflecting progressive approaches to customary international law and engaging with the consistency of the methodology that is traditional to customary international law. He also commended the general synergy between Latin American international law scholars and Latin American states, particularly around the development of practice and policies on peremptory norms such as jus cogens as it plays out in certain areas of customary international law such as the use of force.

During the participation of the audience, the issue of customary international law and current affairs in Latin America, and in Chile, in particular, were considered.

Professor Infante is a Full Professor at the University of Chile. She was Director of the Institute of International Studies of the University of Chile (1987-1994). She is a former President of the Chilean Society of International Law, Member of Committees of the International Law Association, Member of the Institute of International Law, Member of the Instituto Hispano Luso Americano de Derecho Internacional, and President of the Latin American Society of International Law (SLADI) from 2016 to 2018. Professor Infante was also a Director between 1997 (July) and 2014.

For more information, please contact:

Thuto Maqutu
Special Projects Coordinator

Programme Manager: LLM/MPhil, LLD/DPhil Sexual and Reproductive Rights in Africa (SRRA)

Tel: +27 (0) 12 420 3587