COMMITTEE AGAINST TORTURE
4 - 22 May 1998
Concluding observations of the Committee against Torture
Committee considered the second periodic report of Peru (CAT/C/20/Add.6)
at its 330th, 331st and 333rd meetings, held on 12 and 13 May 1998
(see CAT/C/SR.330, 331 and 333), and adopted the following conclusions
Committee welcomes the submission of the second periodic report of
Peru which, despite the six year delay, nonetheless reflects the manifest
wish of the State party to maintain dialogue.
Committee also appreciates the fact that the size, quality and highly
representative nature of the delegation of Peru is proof of the State
party's interest in the work of the Committee.
2. Positive aspects
Committee notes the following positive aspects.
willingness to give effect to the recommendations that the Committee
put forward during the consideration of the State party's initial
abolition of the "faceless judges" system;
introduction into Peruvian legislation of a definition of torture
consistent with the provisions of article 1 of the Convention;
planned or actual reforms announced by the Minister of Justice, who
headed the delegation of Peru, and which are designed to improve the
human rights situation in the framework of the fight against terrorist
violence and to reaffirm the independence of the judiciary.
3. Factors and difficulties impeding the application of the
provisions of the Convention
Committee finds no factors or difficulties impeding the effective
application of the Convention by Peru.
4. Subjects of concern
Committee is concerned about the following:
frequent and numerous allegations of torture;
maintenance of the competence of military courts to try civilians;
excessive role still assigned to military courts at the expense of
laws passed between 1995 and 1998, which arguably seem designed as
a renewed challenge to the independence of the judiciary:
(i) Act No. 26546 of 26 November 1995 establishing the Executive
Commission of the Judiciary;
(ii) Act No. 26623 of 19 June 1996 reorganizing the Office of the
Public Prosecutor and establishing the Executive Commission of the
Office of the Public Prosecutor;
(iii) Act No. 26695 of 3 December 1996 establishing temporary benches
at the Supreme Court and "higher courts";
(iv) Act No. 26933 of 12 March 1998 limiting the powers of the National
Council of the Judiciary;
maintenance of emergency legislation hardly conducive to respect for
human rights in general and the elimination of torture in particular.
noting and welcoming the new measures that have been taken or announced,
including some which are in the spirit of the recommendations made
during the consideration of Peru's initial report, the Committee reiterates
those recommendations and calls upon the State party to expedite reforms
designed to establish a State genuinely founded upon the rule of law.
State party should consider repealing laws which may undermine the
independence of the judiciary, and take account of the fact that,
in this area, the competent authority with regard to the selection
and careers of judges should be independent of the Government and
the administration. To guarantee such independence, measures should
be taken to ensure, for example, that the members of that authority
are appointed by the judiciary and that the authority itself decides
on its rules of procedure.
State party should consider, pursuant to articles 6, 11, 12, 13 and
14 of the Convention, taking measures to ensure that victims of torture
or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and their legal successors,
receive redress, compensation and rehabilitation in all circumstances.