San José, August 19, 1998
I have the honor to inform Your Excellency that I have received the communication of August 11, 1998, in which the Illustrious State of Trinidad and Tobago informed the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that it “must decline the summons of the Court” to appear at the public hearing concerning the provisional measures adopted in the matter of James et al., to be held on August 28, 1998.
By convening the public hearing, the Court seeks to permit both the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and Trinidad and Tobago to present their arguments concerning these provisional measures in a public forum, without compromising their positions in the proceedings which are currently pending before the Commission. Due to the urgency and complexity of these matters, the Court also deems such a hearing important for the full consideration of said arguments.
The Court has always relied on the good faith and cooperation of States in order to carry out the mandate established by the State Parties to the American Convention on Human Rights.
Level 19, Central Bank Tower
Erick Williams Financial Complex
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
The failure of a State Party to appear at a public hearing, to which it has been duly summoned, is without precedent in the history of the Court. The Tribunal is seriously concerned by the implications of Trinidad and Tobago’s decision in the present matter and its ramifications.
Therefore, I reiterate to Your Excellency the importance of Trinidad and Tobago appearing before the Court on August 28, 1998, and thereby fulfilling its obligation as a State Party to the American Convention on Human Rights.
Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.