The International Legal Affairs Office plans, directs and controls all international legal actions of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and particularly the matters related to international treaties, international advisory and naturalization.
The International Legal Affairs Office is the section of the Ministry entrusted with international legal advisory and legal management duties in the foreign policy implementation process.
In this functional framework the International Legal Affairs Office offers its advice on international law matters to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Deputy Ministers, the Secretary-General and the Directors.
The International Legal Affairs Office reports to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs following the provisions of Decree 3355 of 2009 and includes three major lines, organized by coordinating offices:
1. Coordination of the Internal Work Group for Conceptual Issues
2. Coordination of the Internal Work Group for Treaties
3. Coordination of the Internal Work Group for Nationality Issues
Decree 110 of 2004, which set forth the structure and duties of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs provided in Article 8 the jurisdictional scope of the Legal Advisory Office. The above-mentioned regulation established strategic duties along with other administrative support functions, which resulted in a reduced efficacy of the core activities in that area.
Considering the specificity of the jurisdictional scope in both international and domestic legal matters, Decree 3355 of 2009 established two legal areas, as follows:
1. The International Legal Affairs Office reporting to the mission area of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, particularly regarding the treaties to which Colombia is or shall be a party State in its different negotiation, discussion, legal processing and ratification phases. At the same time, it issues opinions on simplified procedures for agreement projects.
The International Legal Affairs Office formulates opinions or judgments in connection with consultations on international law; follows the procedures as a diplomatic channel in extradition cases; and follows all the procedures legally set forth for the naturalization of foreigners, renunciation and recovery of Colombian nationality, respectively.
Furthermore, as regards international legal defense matters, it fulfills a permanent duty in monitoring and supporting the international legal defense of the State.
2. The Internal Legal Advisory Office, a division of the Secretariat-General, is made up by two work areas: I. Bids and contracts, and II. Legal affairs and legal processes. This Office provides advisory, inter alia, on issues concerning actions for the protection of individuals’ constitutional rights (tutelas), and reviewing decrees and resolutions, inter-administrative agreements and contracts.