"The Challenges of Justice in Guatemala"*
Speaker: Judge Claudia Escobar Mejía, Visiting Scholar at Risk, Harvard University
Moderator: Kirsten Weld, Assistant Professor of History, Harvard University
*Presentation in SPANISH without translation
Having grown up in a country marked by impunity, corruption, and violence, Claudia Escobar has dedicated her life to working for the respect of the law and for the promotion of justice, with the conviction that a strong judicial system is the vehicle to build a true “State of Law,” which can bring peace, freedom, and prosperity to her home country of Guatemala. Escobar, a judge, is also a dedicated professor and has taught at different universities, and she was the coordinator of the master’s degree in corporate law at the Universidad Rafael Landívar for more than five years. Escobar obtained her PhD and master’s at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, in Spain. She earned her law degree at the Universidad Francisco Marroquín, in Guatemala, and received her BA in political sciences from Louisiana State University.
She is currently the Robert G. James Scholar at Risk Fellow at the Radcliffe Institute, where she is pursuing a research project on how corruption is directly linked to the lack of judicial independence. Her research will use Guatemala as an example, and her approach is based on legal perspectives about how judges in the higher courts are appointed without respecting neither international principles nor judicial independence while enabling political entities and other powerful groups to control the justice system and promoting impunity and corruption.