Newsletter of the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice
December 2011
In This Issue

About the Cyrus Vance Center


The Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice of the New York City Bar mobilizes the global legal profession to engage in activities that promote social justice, human rights and democratic values and principles. We perform our work in partnership with private- and public-sector lawyers, members of the judiciary, law schools, and nongovernmental
organizations (NGOs) in the regions where we work.



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Roundtable on African Human Rights Court    

 Mombasa Best Pic    

In October, the Vance Center co-sponsored a roundtable in Mombasa, Kenya, at which participants from across Africa discussed ways of strengthening the new African Court of Human and People's Rights.  The Vance Center arranged for Judge Margarette Macaulay of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and Professor Francisco Rivera of the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico Law School to attend the roundtable and share what they had learned from their experiences with the Inter-American human rights system.  The co-sponsors of the roundtable in addition to the Vance Center were the Coalition for an Effective African Court and the International Commission of Jurists-Kenya, both long-term partners of the Vance Center.  


Access to Information


Regional Alliance
Regional Alliance

At the request of the Regional Alliance for Freedom of Expression and Access to Information ("Regional Alliance"), our Clearinghouse coordinated the preparation of a legal memorandum providing an overview of the relationship between access to information and the protection of personal data written from the perspective of U.S. law.  The Regional Alliance is a coalition of 22 civil society organizations in 14 countries  dedicated to fostering economic opportunity, social inclusion and good governance in the Americas.   A summary of the memorandum was published in the Regional Alliance's   publication Saber Mas III on the occasion of its "Right to Know Day."  To read the Regional Alliance  report, click here.


Sonoran Institute

Sonoran Institute Logo

The Vance Center has teamed with the Mexican firm of Galicia Abogados to facilitate the incorporation of  Sonoran Institute Mexico, A.C.   Galicia will assist the newly created Mexican subsidiary to focus on restoration of the delta of the Colorado River.


Profile: Mery Angélica Mantilla, Award Recipient

MA Mantilla
Mery Angélica Mantilla


Fundación Pro Bono Colombia,  the Vance Center's principal partner in Colombia,  bestowed its Pro Bono Attorney of the Year 2011 Award on Mery Angélica Mantilla, an attorney with the firm of Prias & Cadavid in Bogotá, in recognition of her work representing the mothers of children with cancer who were denied treatment by the Colombian health system. The Vance Center subsequently hosted Ms. Mantilla in New York where she visited with Vance Center Committee members to discuss pro bono implementation in Colombia. To learn more about FPB Colombia, click here.

Spotlight: Chile

Assistance to Micro-entrepreneur

Jeannette Severino



Jeannette Severino is a micro-entrepreneur living in one of Chile's largest cities. She started a small business making reasonably priced school pullovers with customized details seven years ago. As her business expanded, she was able to employ many of her neighbors, giving them the opportunity to work from home while simultaneously watching small children. With the help of Fundación Pro Bono Chile ("FPB"), Ms. Severino obtained pro bono counsel to organize her business as a limited liability company, making it possible for her to deal directly with school systems rather than solely with individual students. As a result, she grew her business and hired additional employees.  FPB is the Vance Center's principle partner in Chile and in the International Pro Bono Network.   To learn more about FPB, click here.   To learn more about the IPBN, click here.