Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has said that a 70-year unresolved legal dispute is “embarrassing” and exemplifies how Colombia “is perhaps the worst in the world” when it comes to legal certainty, according to a government press release Monday.
Santos, speaking at the inauguration of a new Santa Marta hotel, used the example of a long-running ownership dispute over an area called Pozos Colorados in order to criticize aspects of the legal system and call for reform.
“It has been 70 years between lawyer and lawyer…where a great location has been wasted, that could be invested, to be used as a center for tourism development,” he said. “It is something that really causes embarrassment,” the head of state added.
“We are going to reform the entire legal system precisely so that this type of situation does not arise, in order that legal certainty exists for any Colombian or any foreigner; that they know that there are clear procedures, that there is a justice system that works, and works relatively quickly,” Santos continued.
“What we can do here is wonderful. But we are attached to these procedures…where nothing moves forward,” said the president, stating that legal certainty is a concept where Colombia “is perhaps the worst in the world.”
Legal certainty is a concept of dispute resolution adhering to the notion of maximum predictability in the judgements of legal disputes, rather than random outcomes, as well as ensuring that a prospective case has met the minimum level of controversy in order to proceed in the courts.
Santos called on Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Sergio Diaz-Granados to organize a meeting with the high courts and discuss the progression in the “Pozos Colorados” case. The judicial reform bill is expected to be filed on July 20 of this year.