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Legal Empowerment: Forboding Territory, Forbidden Fruits?

Gender Equality, Inclusive Governance and the Law: Aligned for a Better World

2018 Annual Conference, January 22-23, 2018 

125 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, ON

Monday January 22, 2017 - 12:00pm - Showcase A


Showcase: Legal Empowerment: Forboding Territory, Forbidden Fruits?


Jeannette Tramhel, Senior Legal Officer, Department of International Law, Secretariat of Legal Affairs, Organization of American States (OAS)

Two recent initiatives at the Organization of American States have the potential to significantly improve access to credit for women, particularly women-owned MSMEs. These are the Model Law on Secured Transactions and the Model Law on the Simplified Corporation. The first expands the range of acceptable collateral, which is often very limited for women in states where lenders traditionally accept only real property as security; the second simplifies the process of business incorporation, thereby easing transition into the formal economy, a prerequisite to accessing credit.
But developing model legislation in accordance with international best practices constitutes only the first part, the relatively “easy” part. What happens at the domestic level when states turn to implementation? This session features a Canadian-funded project to build local capacity for secured transactions reform in the Americas and highlights experiences from three countries using a “participatory” law reform approach. It considers how valuable lessons learned in international development assistance might be applied to the emerging area of technical assistance for domestic law reform


Jeannette Tramhel is a Senior Legal Officer with the Department of International Law in the Secretariat for Legal Affairs at the Organization of American States (OAS). Her legal career has included work with the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and the Government of Canada, private practice and academia.  She holds an LL.M. (Georgetown), an LL.B. (Queen’s) and is a member of the bar in New York and Ontario. Ms. Tramhel also holds degrees in agriculture and environmental design and has extensive field experience in the developing world with projects that emphasize use of the participatory process.