Justice and human rights
The Government of the Province of Santa Fe established the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights in December 2007. Its primary objectives are the design of policies to improve the service of Justice, ensure that all residents have access to it, and ensure the effective observance of the human rights determined in the National Constitution and international treaties.
The Ministry of Justice and Human Rights also deals with the issues inherent to the defense of those principles and constitutional and institutional relations with the national Government, with other provinces, non-governmental organizations and international organizations aimed at the defense of human rights.
This portfolio aims to provide all the inhabitants the appropriate professional and judicial assistance, to promote not adversarial methods for conflict resolution, and the control of the parameters that recognize and regulate human rights.
To meet these objectives, it was implemented a profound transformation of the judicial system, which included the formation and training of operators, the commissioning of a new criminal procedural system (in force since February 2014), the creation of Centres of Judicial Assistance (CAJ), and the resolution of interpersonal conflicts with the implementation of mandatory mediation in civil and commercial matters, criminal mediation and facilitation, among other public policies.
New criminal justice
The provincial government launched the historic challenge of a deep transformation of the system of prosecution in criminal matters. In this way, the judicial system in Santa Fe has met the demands of the national Constitution and international treaties, and has also responded to the demands of the population of a close, agile, and efficient justice.
In the new system, the record is replaced by oral and public hearings in which the parties expose their points of view in a transparent way. Thus, the human conflict between victim and defendant regains visibility. The victim, the great forgotten party of the previous system, now occupies the center of the scene, with more rights, more care and restraint, and a new participation in the process.
The new model provides access to justice for all citizens, especially to the most vulnerable sectors, ensuring the principle of equality before the law.
It's a comprehensive reform, which involves a deep cultural change and contributes to a higher institutional quality because it has the transparency and publicity of the acts of Government in a Republican system. .
Non-adversarial methods of resolving conflicts
In the context of the profound transformation of the judicial systems there were implemented non adversarial methods to settle disputes. The application of these tools of communication and meeting is a State policy, and the Government of the province has been implementing concrete measures to progress in this field.
While conflicts are inherent in life in society, not all of them should reach the law court. There are new methods that get good results without overloading the judicial system. They are called alternative, because they seek solutions without appealing to the traditional trial.
In addition, these procedures foster the social pacification and the prominence of the parties as they recognize the will and rights of citizenship. Also, province has started the implementation of the civil and commercial compulsory pre-trial proceedings and the criminal mediation and facilitation.
Civil and Commercial Compulsory prejudicial mediation: It has operated in the province since November and its implementation is progressive, in each territory and jurisdiction. It has two characteristics that distinguish it from the rest of the legislation, both national and provincial: the Organization of the system in the orbit of the Executive branch and the incorporation of new technologies of information and communication to the entire procedure, which gives it greater agility, economy and efficiency to the system.
Penal mediation: It is a public service that arises as an alternative to the traditional response to criminal disputes. Its function is to assist the parties to solve conflicts with the help of a neutral third party, an expert in the field, bringing them to facilitate the dialogue. Penal mediation offices operate in the Centres of Judicial Assistance (CAJ) enabled in the province.
Facilitation: It consists of making an easier, more viable and fluid a channel of communication which has been interrupted for any reason. It is provided the dialogue between the parties. The State intervenes to open channels of dialogue and generate communication. The objective is to promote participatory, peaceful and collaborative ways for the resolution of critical situations. In this way, the prosecution of the problem is neither the first nor the only alternative.
The Ministry of Human Rights has in charge the promotion, prevention, care, control and advice to protect and ensure the full exercise of human rights.
The Provincial Agency for the Reconstruction of the Historical Memory is in the scope of the Ministry and the Provincial Archive of Memory also runs in this area, which gathers information, testimonies and documents on human rights for consultation. Also since they began, in 2009, they have provided supportive material to the trials for crimes against humanity that have taken place in the province.
In this sense, the area of research, support and monitoring of prosecutions for crimes against humanity works helping victims, relatives, witnesses, lawyers, prosecutors, district attorneys and judges. In addition, it works in the search and identification of missing persons and the location of clandestine detention centres.
Through the official website, santafe.gov.ar, the province offers the webcasting of hearings of the trials for crimes against humanity.
On the other hand, through the programme of protection of witnesses and complainants in cases involving crimes against humanity, the province not only deals with security, but it also provides medical, legal and psychological assistance to witnesses, complainants, relatives and lawyers.
In the context of the policies that have been implemented for Memory, Truth and Justice, the provincial Government indicated “sites of memory” in order to refer to a place of reflection and transmission of our recent past, and to advance in the promotion of human rights and democratic values in different parts of the territory. These actions are framed in the Executive Order signed by Governor Antonio Bonfatti in 2013 that declares Sites of Memory of the Terrorism of State that functioned as clandestine detention, torture and extermination centres or places where emblematic events of the actions of the illegal repression happened during the terrorism of State exercised in the country until December 10, 1983.
Provincial Register of Information on Missing Girls, Boys and Adolescents
The Register runs in the scope of the Secretariat of Human Rights. It is a system of solidarity for the location of missing minors who are reported by their relatives in person, at the police office or through the Secretariat toll-free: 0800 5553348. The relatives of the missing children and adolescents are supported during the search, in charge of the police with intervention of the Justice.
The registry is a tool to ensure the effectiveness of the rights of the child, particularly the right to identity, settled in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. It was created by law in June 2006, consistent and interconnected with the national system. In addition to the implementation of a unified data system with the primary aim of achieving the location of missing children, it seeks the prevention of possible disappearances through a set of actions of dissemination, training and community control.