Juan Bennazar has been an active and valued voice within ILAC since its inception. Our Consortium now counts as members over 50 professional legal organisations and experts from all over the world, reflecting a wide-range of legal expertise and competencies which can be drawn upon to help rebuild justice systems in countries that are fragile or conflict-affected. A passionate defender of the rule of law, Juan has contributed extensively and importantly towards ILAC’s achievements over the past 17 years. Juan’s sharp mind and quick wit together with his unfailing sense of humour and traditional Spanish courtesy have always been much appreciated by his colleagues within ILAC.
During his 10 year tenure as a member of ILAC’s Executive Board and later ILAC’s Board of Directors, Juan was an invaluable source of wise counsel especially in the area of good governance and due process.
As a lawyer in Puerto Rico, Juan has been ILAC’s main link to Central and South America. His strong advocacy served to increase ILAC’s early engagement in that region, notably during the last phase of ILAC’s Haiti Programme which developed a system for legal aid across the country, handling more than 9000 criminal cases in three years. More recently, his extensive knowledge about Latin America was fundamental in the establishment of the ILAC Cuba Programme as well as crucial in the planning stage of ILAC’s lastet Rule of Law Assessment on Guatemala.
Juan was often accompanied to ILAC events by his wife Wilda, who was an excellent hostess when the Executive Board had the privilege of visiting Puerto Rico in 2016, almost exactly a year before the hurricane that devastated the island, including Juan’s office. The fact that he has overcome that traumatic event and also some health issues with such fortitude is of great credit to him and those close to him.
Given his outstanding contributions to ILAC and the rule of law, A.J. Bennazar Zequeria received his lifetime membership awards at our 2018 Annual General Meeting.
Mr Bennazar is a founding member of ILAC and former Board of Directors member. Mr Bennazar has been instrumental in ILAC’s work since the development of the Consortium. The idea for an international legal consortium began in the 1990s when a number of international rule of law development organisationsand leading international legal figures convened a series of roundtable policy discussions on post-conflict challenges.
An advocate of fundamental rights as well as civil rights, he was a member of Civil Rights Commission of Puerto Rico. Mr Bennazar is also a lifetime member and former president of the Executive Committee of Inter-American Bar Association, an ILAC member organisation. Currently, he is a Partner and Director of Bennazar, Garcia & Miliàn, C.S.P.
Founded in 2002, ILAC brings together more than 50 professional associations and legal professionals from all over the world to share their wealth of expertise with national stakeholders who are rebuilding their justice institutions in countries that are in conflict, post conflict, or in transition to peace and democracy.
Other Lifetime members are: Christian Åhlund (founding ILAC Executive Director), Guiseppe Bisconti (former International Bar Association President), Hans Corell (Under-Secretary-General for Legal Affairs and the Legal Counsel of the United Nations), Rodger Chongwe (former ILAC Executive Committee member), Mike Enwall (former ILAC Representative in Liberia), Paul Hoddinott (founding ILAC Chair), William Meyer (former ILAC Chair), Anne Ramberg (former ILAC treasurer), Francisco Diaz Rodriguez (former ILAC representative in Haiti), Joan D. Winship (ILAC founding member)