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Colombian Prosecutor Discusses His Nation’s Political and Legal Climate

 Fabio Humar
Humar reviewed his nation’s troubled political history.

(Boston, Revised 11/13/09) New England Law | Boston: On Tuesday, October 13, Colombian Prosecutor Fabio Humar spoke to students and faculty in a Center for Law and Social Responsibility “LawMatters” presentation on his nation’s evolving political situation and legal system.  The event was co-hosted by the CLSR, Latin American Law Student Association, and the International Law Society.

In an engaging discussion, Humar traced the histories of Colombia’s guerrillas, paramilitary groups, and political groups, and credited President Uribe’s re-enforcement of the military for the decline in kidnappings and narcoterrorist violence.

 Fabio Humar
(L-R) Fabio Andrés Humar Jaramillo, Brenda Morales ’10 (Latin American Student Association), Professor David Siegel, Adonia Simpson ’09 (CLSR fellow)

The second portion of the lecture focused on the dramatic change in Colombia’s legal system.  The modifications, strongly encouraged by the United States, have resulted in a system largely similar to ours.  However, Humar noted the trade-off that is accompanying the adoption of the new, adversarial system of justice over the previous inquisitorial system, which granted broad powers to the prosecution at the expense of the accused.

Though civil liberties are enhanced, efficiency is lost.  As this new system continues to develop, it will be interesting to watch the effect on Colombia’s political groups and on the nation's overall safety.

 Fabio Humar
Students and faculty received answers to a variety of questions.

In fall 2006, Humar was one of two Colombian prosecutors selected during a national competition, held by the Partners of America and the United States Department of State, to intern at the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office in Boston.  In 2008, he was the CLSR’s first Attorney-in-Residence.

LawMatters events are hosted by the CLSR throughout the academic year, featuring panel discussions, guest speakers, and faculty-led talks where students, faculty, and members of the legal community debate current legal issues.

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