The official press release of the Colombia’s Constitutional Court confirmed that #LeyLleras2 was declared unconstitutional in its entirety due to procedural irregularities during its process in Congress.
The Court after analyzing the content of the Act found that it mainly regulated copyright and related rights. For this reason, the approval on first debate of the bill should have been done in the first commissions of Congress because it was an intellectual property issue, and not in the second commissions in charge of international affairs.
Although the Court did not put in discussion the fact that the law was issued in order to implement the commitments made by Colombia in the FTA with the United States, it indicated that the motivation for regulating a subject is completely distinguishable from the predominant topic of the legislative body.
For that reason the Court considered that the lack of competence of the commission was itself an irremediable vice in the process of the law and it did not analyze the content in depth or the remaining charges of unconstitutionality against #LeyLleras2 Act.
Karisma was at the very front of this discussions in Parliament since the beginning, we kept trail of the discussions (en), presented comments through the Colombian civil society network RedPaTodos, and collaborated with the American University Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property to deliver an analysis letter to the Members of Parliament (en). After the draft Ley Lleras 2.0 was finally Law 1520/12 we foster along with the Rosario University, the National Archive and RedPaTodos a seminar to explain the Colombian society the need for a balanced Copyright regime. Our work, in the frame of RedPaTodos, presenting “amicus curiae” (en) in support of the different demandsthat where innitiated before the Court for constitutional grounds is also to be noted.
It is important to point out that the current work of the Karisma group Law, Internet and Society relates to human rights in the digital environment and is part of different national and international networks such as RedPaTodos were we will continue this year the search to include a possitive agenda in the Colombian Copyright public policies.
The decision taken by the Court is no surprise for us, the Court had enought arguments, however, the decision did not look at the concerns on the rights that were in stage, it turns down the law under procedural grounds leaving the thick discussion for later. Since the law was a result of a Colombian FTA commitment with the USA there will be strong pressure for a new law. We expect that the government will be responsible enought this time to follow not only the right procedure but also to develop a most needed discussion with the Colombian society in order to produce a balanced law that will be respectfull of the various rights that are on stage in this matters.
Karisma Foundation is a Colombian NGO founded in 2003 and located in Bogota. Its mission is to support the spread and good use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the Colombian society. Karisma has worked with educational institutions since the beginning, providing content and support on the use of ICTs in the learning process and developing a special interest for the new open paradigm especially regarding the copyright challenges of digital technologies. Karisma is also engage in social innovation projects related to ICT.