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December 10, 2018

The XXXVI Meeting of the Board of Directors of the Justice Studies Center of the Americas (JSCA) took place on December 7 in Santiago de Chile. The meeting was attended by Manuel Montecino (President, El Salvador), Daniel Petrone (Vice President, Argentina), Douglass Cassel (United States), George Thomson (Canada), Margarita de Hegedus (Uruguay) and Alexis Mera (Ecuador).

During the meeting, new Board leaders were elected for 2019 and 2020. Their term begins on January 1, 2019. Daniel Petrone of Argentina was elected President and George Thomson of Canada was elected Vice President.

The Board also recognized the achievements of the leadership that will end its term on December 31. Douglass Cassel was part of the first Board and is completing his second six-year term, during which he served as Vice President and President. Manuel Montecino served as a Board member from 2013 to 2018 and also served as Vice President (2017) and President (2018). 

During the year-end meeting, JSCA Executive Director Jaime Arellano presented the JSCA Annual and Financial Reports as well as the 2019 Plan of Action and Budget, all of which were unanimously approved.


The meeting was attended by Board member-elect Jenny Murphy, of the United States, who begins her term on January 1, 2019 along with Patricia Pérez of Chile.

JSCA’s Board of Directors is composed of seven members who are elected by the OAS General Assembly from a list of candidates proposed by the member states. Their responsibilities include overseeing the work of the Executive Director and approving plans of action and budgets.



JSCA Board of Directors Leadership for 2019-2020

Daniel Petrone (Argentina)
Petrone is an attorney with a degree from Universidad de Buenos Aires who studied at the graduate level in the Universidad de Palermo Criminal Law Program. He also holds a Master’s degree in Law from the same institution, and completed the Judicial Modernization and Updating Course offered by Universidad de Buenos Aires and Universidad Carlos III of Madrid.

He is currently a judge serving in the Federal Criminal Cassation Chamber’s Room I in Argentina. He has served as an Oral Criminal Tribunal Judge in Buenos Aires Province, a National Economic Crimes Judge and Federal Oral Tribunal Chamber No. 2 Judge in San Martín.

He has directed projects focused on criminal and criminal procedure law at Universidad de Buenos Aires and taught graduate courses there as well. He taught Criminal Law I at Universidad Nacional de Lomas de Zamora and Universidad Católica de Santiago del Estero, Oral Litigation Criminal Law at Universidad de Palermo and directs the Cyber Crime course at the graduate level in that program. He has participated as a trainer in various oral hearing litigation courses through the organization Unidos por la Justicia.

George Thomson (Canada)
George M. Thomson, of Canada, is an attorney who earned a B.A. in Philosophy and English and LLB at Queen’s University as well as a LLM at University of California at Berkeley. He has served as Executive Director of the National Judicial Institute of Canada since 1999. Prior to that appointment, he was Special Advisor to the Ministry of Justice of Canada (1998-1999), the Assistant Prosecutor at the Ministry of Justice, and the Deputy Prosecutor of Canada (1994-1998), the Deputy Prosecutor of Ontario (1992-1994), the Deputy Minister of Labor of the Province of Ontario (1989-1992) and the Deputy Minister of the People of the Province of Ontario (1989).

He served as a judge from 1982 to 1989 and as Director of Education for the Upper Canada Law Society (1985-1988). He presided over a provincial commission on social welfare reform (1985-1988) and served as Vice Deputy Minister of Community and Social Services of the Province of Ontario and was responsible for the Services for Minors Division (1977-1982). Dr. Thomson was also a professor at the Western Ontario University Law School and served as the dean of that institution in 1970 and 1971.

Appointment of two new members of the JSCA Board of Directors

During the Fourth Plenary Session, which was held in Washington, D.C., the 48th General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) elected two new members to the JSCA Board of Directors. They are Jenny Murphy, of the United States, and Patricia Pérez, of Chile. The members-elect will serve from 2019 to 2021.

This is particularly important in the context of the Gender Equality Policy that JSCA is promoting. In view of this new policy and at the express request of the Board and the Executive Director, the member states considered applications from female candidates given that the Board had been composed exclusively of men for several periods. The turning point came in 2017 when Uruguay took the lead and submitted the candidacy of Margarita de Hegedus, who was elected to serve from 2018 to 2020.  











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