Legal Representative of the Minister of Justice Appears in Court / Laritza Diversent

This past August 10th, Dr. Diego Fernando Cañizares Abeledo, a specialist in the Legislative and Advisory Directorate of the Ministry of Justice (MINJUS), appeared before the Second Civil and Administrative Chamber of the the Havana Provincial Court, representing Justice Minister Maria Esther Reus González on the administrative claim filed by the attorney Wilfredo Vallín Almeida, based on the silence of the Administration, asserting the right of appeal recognized in the Constitution of the Republic.

In his brief, the Minister’s lawyer described the claim as “nonsensical.” In his opinion, the plaintiff, Mr. Vallín Almeida, chose “a legal wrong way. We do not know for what specific purpose,” he argued. In his view, the President of the Cuban Legal Association should try to gain legal recognition through the Associations Act, without the Ministry of Justice being required to issue anything in writing.

On April 7, 2009, The lawyer Wilfredo Vallín Almeida, president of the Cuban Law Association, a union of dissident lawyers, on behalf of his organization, had asked the Registrar of Associations of MINJUS to certify that there was no Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in the country with the same name and purpose as the association of attorneys.

The state agency never issued the certificate, a document which is essential to continue the legal procedures for setting up the union. In March 2010, the group reiterated its request and received no response. The lawyers, on administrative appeal to the Minister, Reus González, lodged a complaint for breach of the required legal formalities, which was also ignored.

The Law of Civil, Administrative, and Labor Procedure (LPCAL) provides that if the administrative authority at any level of the hierarchy does not resolve an appeal by the legal deadline, or after the expiration of 45 calendar days, then the application shall be considered rejected, with the effect of establishing that implied rejection for the subsequent appeal.

Cañizares Abeledo, appointed by Ministerial Resolution No. 215 on August 6, 2010, alleged that it was impossible to deliver to the court the applicant’s government record, and the administrative decision of the head of Justice relating to the matter raised by the plaintiff, Mr. Vallin Almeida, claiming that the agency had no documents regarding the matter.

Translated by: Tomás A.

September 9. 2010