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Interview with Carlos Alberto Almanza Agámez

Law professional graduated from the University of Cartagena (Colombia).
Administrative Law Specialist (Universidad Libre, Colombia); Specialist in Political-Economic Studies (Universidad del Norte); Master’s Studies in Law – Research Emphasis (Universidad del Norte).
He currently works as a University Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences at the Rafael Núñez University Corporation – Cartagena, Colombia.

What motivated you to study law?
In the academic offer of university training, Law stands out as a life project of personal and professional growth that allows projecting actions in the public and private field (and in my case also in the academic field), for the defense of a just order, of a society where justice, equality, constitutional values ​​prevail. Not in vain is the Legal Professional considered an agent of Justice and the defense of citizen guarantees.

This idea that the Law allows leading processes of political-democratic, social, and legal culture for the benefit and defense of our fellow men and the State (from an integrationist perspective) ended up being a great motivation for having chosen this profession.

What satisfaction has this profession given you?
In about fifteen years of professional life, I have had satisfactory experiences both in the private sector and in the public sector and private practice. But without a doubt, the University academic experience of training Law Professionals has been of great satisfaction, not only because of the high component and human commitment that this contains for those who have been my students, but also because of the social impact that is generated. , in terms of growth in local, regional and national human development.

This exercise of training professionals connected to the environment, with high human and social sensitivity, with solid legal and interdisciplinary training, is a commitment to the growth of their personal, family and local environments; a bet for the development of the city, the Department and the Nation reflected in its citizens; A commitment to promote Justice, development and defense of the constitutional order from the different professional roles that each one of them promotes.

And how unhappy?
The reality of a judicial system, an administration of justice, which has not lived up to the citizens’ needs, the aspirations for social justice, the prompt and timely solution of conflicts, becomes a factor that often generates dissatisfaction. . Lawyers are the ones who suffer in the first line and show an inoperative judicial apparatus in terms of effectiveness and efficiency, of a slow and late justice that generates public discontent and mistrust.

In this, many actors have (in a global sense) responsibility, and at that point, I have tried to see it as a challenge, a task of training professionals who can improve the provision of the public service of administration of justice, in the best interest of guaranteeing a state Fair. The task has also been to lead from the academy articulated to civil society and territorial entities (State), a dynamic that promotes social development processes for the benefit mainly of vulnerable populations, sustainable communities, citizen empowerment of a political and legal culture responsible and participatory: to train citizens inside and outside the university faculty.

What do you think is the most important thing to succeed in the Law?
Let us take for granted the constant discipline and study, permanent updating, responsibility, as a common basis for any Legal Professional.

But to highlight qualities necessary for a successful professional performance: Leadership, Character and Proactivity !!! The latter reflected in a culture of Social Innovation, strategic thinking and a great sense of human, social and political responsibility.

New graduates must be able to competently assume and adapt to the scientific and technological advances of each of their disciplinary areas, aware of the role they play as professionals in the social context within which each one has to act, open to change and to the transformation of knowledge: Guarantee of a successful performance of the Legal Profession.

As an educator and legal professional, what advice could you give to a person who is evaluating this career for their future?
Law is a profession that encompasses a social, political, business responsibility and the strengthening of justice, which requires people committed to these ends. The first thing is to consciously and responsibly evaluate the vocation and interest of the applicant (the family, for obvious reasons, plays a fundamental role here).

Vocational dialogue with legal professionals in their environment, or with law students in higher degrees, could generate future perspectives with which the applicant evaluates if he feels identified and / or motivated, and thus ensure on his part a commitment to his studies and subsequent professional practice. This, without restricting or directing their capacity for innovation and performance based on their own interests.

I have always defended the idea of ​​Law as a Science, but also an art, passion, discipline: This requires professionals committed to exalting the Legal Profession, contributing to development and social progress and fighting, having as their only weapons the Law and its communication skills and argumentative, all forms of injustice that break the social group and ultimately be that beacon of light that guides and enlightens society for the sake of freedom, justice, equality and order. If the applicant is committed to it: Welcome!

Anything you would like to add?
In Colombia, on June 22, 2015 a new commemoration of the Lawyer’s Day will take place. Now, and always, it is imperative to remember the importance of Legal Professionals in the consolidation of a free nation, with strong ideals, still fully unreached, of justice, equality and social coexistence, but also the responsibility that falls on them as agents. for the promotion and defense of citizen rights and guarantees, for the strengthening of democracy and citizen participation.

The Legal Professional, Lawyer, shares with other professions the unfortunate destiny of being a kind of pariah caste that society always judges according to the behavior of its morally worse members, or those with little legal training and expertise. Reinforced perception in the midst of a context of violence and low political culture. One reality is that, since Lawyers -Law Professionals- are the main actors of the Justice System in Colombia, the profession is affected by the low indicators of perception of honesty presented by the Judicial Branch.

A poor perception of the honesty of Justice in Colombia also translates into little public trust in the Colombian Justice System. According to the Excellence in Justice Corporation, there is a moderate trust (downwards) of citizens in the judicial apparatus of the state. This low level of trust is aggravated by the constant and media scandals to which the high courts have become accustomed lately, and the repeated and in my opinion abusive stoppages promoted by employees of the judicial branch, ignoring the nature of essential public service and the right to all Citizens to access to Justice.

Faced with this problem, our response from the academy is to strengthen the comprehensive training of professionals – Lawyers – who restore dignity to justice and public institutions, and based on their actions, they can promote a greater political culture in the environment. of its exercise, local, regional and national, increase public confidence in the Institutions, especially in the Justice System, always in the interests of a just and equitable society.

The changes that our global society faces every day require a new role, a new legal professional that is at the height of the rigorous and vertiginous modern times – our time – and it will never be necessary to reiterate it, with a high human formation, strengthening those values ​​that honor the profession. That’s what we bet on from the academy: to train, not to convince; for future Law Professionals to carry as a standard those principles of responsibility, quality, permanent self-training and leadership both ethically and professionally and those values ​​of freedom and justice, which serve as the pillar and fundamental basis for our States today in day.

Carlos Alberto Almanza Agámez on Twitter: https://twitter.com/carlos_almanzaa

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