PRESS RELEASE (*)
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights will hold its XLVII Regular Session, at its seat in San Jose, Costa Rica, from January 24 to February 4, 2000. During this session, the Court will hear, among others, the following matters:
1. Cesti Hurtado Case (Peru): Interpretation of the Judgment on the Merits Phase. On January 25 at 10:00 a.m., the Court will hold, at its seat, a public hearing on the request for interpretation of the Judgment on the Merits of September 29, 1999, submitted by the State of Peru on October 13, 1999, concerning the meaning and terms of the said Judgment.
2. Baena Ricardo et al. Case (Panama): Merits Phase. On January 26, 27 and 28, the Court will hold a public hearing on the merits in this Case to hear the witnesses and experts proposed by the parties, who will testify about their knowledge of the facts of the application.
The Commission submitted the application in this Case on January 16, 1998, which refers to the alleged violations, by the State of Panama, of Articles 8 (Right to a Fair Trail), 9 (Freedom from Ex Post Facto Laws), 10 (Right to Compensation), 15 (Right of Assembly), 16 (Freedom of Association), 25 (Right to Judicial Protection) of the American Convention, in relation with Articles 1 and 2 of the same, as a result of the facts, occurred as of December 6, 1990, that caused the alleged arbitrary release of 270 public employees who had participated in a march for labor benefits as well as the process stemming therefrom, in which their judicial guarantees and their right to judicial protection were allegedly violated. The Commission also requested the Court to declare that law number 25 and the rule established in Article 43 of the Panamanian Constitution, which permits laws concerning 'public order or social interest' to be retroactive, is contrary to the American Convention in the manner in which it was applied to this Case, and must therefore be modified or derogated pursuant to Article 2 of the said Convention. Likewise, the Commission requested the Court to declare that Panama violated Articles 33 and 50(2) of the American Convention and that the State must reestablish the released workers in the enjoyment of their rights and compensate them.
3. Trujillo Oroza Case (Bolivia): Preliminary Objections Phase. On January 25 at 4:00 p.m., the Court will hold a public hearing on the preliminary objections submitted by the State of Bolivia to hear the parties and a witness proposed by the State. The preliminary objections submitted by the State in this Case, which are opposed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, are based on the alleged inadmissibility of the application for four reasons: for the consolidation of a friendly settlement; for the Estoppel principle; and because neither the Commission's Report 26/99, nor the application are updated. Preliminary objections are procedural defenses that the defendant State may submit, which seek to have a contentious case dismissed before the merits of the case are heard.
The application in this Case was submitted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on June 9, 1999. The application refers to the events occurred as of December 23, 1971, when Mr. Carlos Jose Trujillo-Oroza was allegedly detained and disappeared by agents of the Bolivian State, which failed to investigate the said events. The Commission considers that the events described in its application violate the following articles of the American Convention: Article 3 (Right to Juridical Personality), 4 (Right to Life), 7 (Right to Personal Liberty), all of them in relation in relation with Article 1(1) (Obligation to Respect Rights) of the same. Furthermore, the Commission considers that Bolivia violated, the rights to Judicial Guarantees (Article 8(1)), to Judicial Protection (Article 25) and to Humane Treatment (Article 5(1)) all of them in relation with Article 1(1) (Obligation to Respect Rights) of the American Convention on Human Rights, in prejudice of Mr. Trujillo-Oroza and his relatives.
4. Mayagna (Sumo) Awas Tingni Community Case (Nicaragua): Preliminary Objection Phase. During this Session, the Court will deliberate and study the possibility of passing Judgment on the preliminary objection raised by the State of Nicaragua, challenged by the Inter-Americana Commission, which is based on the failure of the Community to exhaust domestic remedies.
The application in this Case, submitted by the Commission on June 4, 1998, refers to the alleged violation by the State of Nicaragua of Articles 1 (Obligation to Respect Rights), 2 (Domestic Legal Effect), 21 (Right to Private Property), and 25 (Judicial Protection) of the American Convention on Human Rights, to the detriment of members of the Mayagna (Sumo) Indigenous Community, due to the failure to demarcate and officially recognize the territory of said community. The Commission also requested that the Court, based on Article 63(1) of the American Convention, orders reparation of the consequences of violations of the rights cited in the application.
5. Las Palmeras Case (Colombia): Preliminary Objections Phase. On February 2, 3 and 4, the Court will deliberate and study the possibility of passing Judgment on the preliminary objections raised by the State of Colombia in this Case, which are based in the alleged inadmissibility of the application for the following reasons: due process violation stemming from a grave lack of information by the Commission; lack of jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court and Commission on Human Rights to apply the International Humanitarian Law and other International Treaties; non-exhaustion of domestic remedies and lack of jurisdiction of the Court to act as a particular fact finding investigating tribunal. These objections were challenged by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
The application, submitted before the Court by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on July 6, 1998, refers to the alleged violation by the State of Colombia of Articles 1(1) (Obligation to Respect Rights), 4 (Right to Life), 8 (Right to a Fair Trial) and 25 (Judicial Protection) of the American Convention, and common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions of 1949. The application refers to the extra-judicial execution and latter denial of justice to the detriment of Messrs. Artemio Pantoja-Ordoñez, Hernán Javier Cuarán-Muchavisoy, Julio Milcíades Cerón-Gómez, Edebraiz Cerón-Rojas, William Hamilton Cerón-Rojas, and Hernán Lizcano-Jacanamejoy or Moisés Ojeda, as a result of the events occurred on January 23, 1991. The Commission also requested for the Court to require the Colombian State to carry out a rapid, impartial and effective judicial investigation and to sanction those responsible for the denounced facts; to identify if the extrajudicially executed person on January 23, 1991 was Hernán Lizcano Jacanamejoy or Moisés Ojeda; to investigate for the cleareance of the circumstances of the death of the seventh victim, an issue not established by the Commission; to award an integral reparation to the next-of-kin of the victims and the adoption of measures to restore their good name; to adopt the necessary measures to reform the training programs and the rules of procedure of the Armed Forces and to reimburse the expenses and costs incurred by the families of the victims before the domestic jurisdiction as well as before the Commission and the Court and the reasonable attorney's fees.
6. Other matters: The Court will consider several matters currently pending before it, and will analyze the various reports submitted to it by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the States involved in issues in which the Court has adopted provisional measures. Likewise, the Tribunal will analyze the various reports submitted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the States involved and the victims or their representatives in the cases that are in the Interpretation of Judgment Phase. The Court will also consider and analyze its Annual Report for 1999 to General Assembly to the Organization of American States and administrative matters.
The composition of the Court during this Regular Session is the following: Antônio A. Cançado Trindade (Brazil), President; Maximo Pacheco-Gomez (Chile), Vice-President; Hernan Salgado-Pesantes (Ecuador); Oliver Jackman (Barbados); Alirio Abreu-Burelli (Venezuela); Sergio Garcia-Ramirez (Mexico) and Carlos Vicente de Roux-Rengifo (Colombia). In the Trujillo Oroza Case Charles N. Brower will participate as Judge ad hoc. In the Mayagna (Sumo) Awas Tingni Case Alejandro Montiel-Argüello will participate as Judge ad hoc.. In Las Palmeras Case Julio A. Barberis will participate as Judge ad hoc. The Secretary of the Court is Manuel E. Ventura-Robles and the Deputy Secretary, Renzo Pomi.
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights is an autonomous judicial institution of the Organization of American States, formally established in 1979. It is formed by jurists of the highest moral standing and competence in the area of Human Rights. The Judges are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and cannot exercise their functions for more than two six year terms.
For further information, please address all requests to:
Manuel E. Ventura-Robles
Secretary, Inter-American Court of Human Rights
P.O. Box 6906-1000
San Jose, Costa Rica
Telephone: (506) 234-0581, Fax: (506) 234-0584
San Jose, January 12, 2000.
(*) The contents of this release are the responsibility of the Secretariat of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The official text of the documents may be obtained by submitting a written request to the Secretariat at the address provided at the end of this document.