PANAMA Several laws continue in force in Pan ama that embody restrictions on freedom of the press. If applied, they could threaten the press freedom principIes that are reflected in the United Nations Universal Declaration of the Rights of Man, the American Declaration of the Rights and Responsibilities of Man, and the American Convention on Human Rights. The laws passed during the dictatorship have not been repealed, in part because sorne journalist unions defend the system of licensing of news people, and in part because of the lack of any clear political will on the issue on the part of the government. A legislator recently introduced in the Assembly a bill that would repeal three 1978laws - Law 11, which regulates the media and publication of printed matter; Law 67, which regulates the practice of journalism, and Law 68, which created a Journalism Technical Board, empowered to authorize and suspend licenses. The bill is awaiting its first hearing. At the invitation of the new government, media representatives have drawn up a proposal for a new, broader law that would repeal all current regulations restricting press freedom. The proposal, to be submitted to the Panamanian president, for his support recommends repladng criminallibel provisions with a non-binding civil arbitration process. On June 3, 1994, then-President Guillermo Endara signed the Declaration of Chapultepec in a memorable public ceremony, and current President Ernesto Pérez Balladares has promised to sign it shortly.