PRESS RELEASE (*)
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights will hold its XLIII Regular Session at its seat in San Jose, Costa Rica, from January 18 to 29, 1999. During this session, the Court will hear the following matters:
1) Suarez Rosero Case: Reparations Phase. The Court will deliberate and study the possibility of passing Judgment on reparations and costs in this Case, pursuant to its Judgment of November 12, 1997, in which it decided that the State of Ecuador must pay a fair compensation to the victim and his next-of-kin, and reimburse them for any expenses they may have incurred in their representations before the Ecuadorean authorities, due to the events which occurred as of June 23 1992, when Mr. Rafael Ivan Suarez-Rosero was illegally deprived of his liberty, and treated in a cruel, inhumane and degrading manner by the agents of the Ecuadorian National Police. The Court also resolved that the State of Ecuador violated, to the detriment of Mr. Suarez Rosero, article 7 (Right to Personal Liberty), 8 (Right to a Fair Trail), 5 (Right to Humane Treatment), and 25 (Right to Judicial Protection), all of them in relation to article 1(1) of the American Convention of Human Rights.
2) Blake Case: Reparations Phase. As in the Suarez Rosero Case, the Court will deliberate and study the possibility of passing Judgment on reparations and costs in this Case, pursuant to its Judgment of January 24, 1998, in which it decided that the State of Guatemala is obliged to make reparations to the relatives of Mr. Nicholas Chapman Blake, due to the violation, to their detriment, of the Right to a Fair Trial (Article 8(1) of the American Convention in relation with Article 1(1) of the same), and the Right to Humane Treatment (Article 5 of the American Convention in relation to Article 1(1) of the same). Thus, the Court will determine the nature and amount of the reparations to be made to the victim's next-of-kin, and the reimbursement of the expenses that they have incurred in their representations before the Guatemalan authorities.
3) Cesti Hurtado Case: Preliminary Objections Phase. During this Session, the Court will deliberate and study the possibility of passing Judgment on the preliminary objections presented in this Case. 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 objections submitted by the State of Peru in this Case, which are opposed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, are based on the alleged failure to exhaust domestic remedies, incompetence and jurisdiction, res judicata, and failure to make a previous claim before the Inter-American Commission.
The application in this Case was submitted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on January 9, 1998, and refers to the alleged violation by the State of Peru of Articles 5 (Right to Humane Treatment), 7 (Right to Personal Liberty), 8 (Right to a Fair Trail), 11 (Right to Privacy), 17 (Rights of the Family), 21 (Right to Property), 25 (Right to Judicial Protection), and 51(2) of the American Convention on Human Rights, in relation with Articles 1 and 2 of the same. The application alleges that these violations were result of the inclusion, detention, sentencing and deprivation of liberty of the victim a trial, which occurred despite the existence of a definitive judgment issued in a habeas corpus proceeding, ordering that he be withdrawn from said trial and that his personal liberty not be hindered. The Commission also requested the Court to require Peruvian State to sanction those responsible for the alleged violations, to release Mr. Cesti Hurtado, and to compensate him for the period during which he was wrongly detained and for the respective damages to his personal life and to his financial well-being.
4) Baena Ricardo et al. Case: Preliminary Objections Phase. On January 27 at 10:00 a.m., the Court will hold a public hearing on the preliminary objections submitted by the State of Panama. The preliminary objections submitted by the State of Panama in this Case, which are opposed by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, are based in the alleged ireceivability of the application for three reasons: failure to comply with the requirements of Article 51 of the American Convention on Human Rights, which establishes that the Commission must adopt a resolution in order to send a contentious case to the Court; because the subject of this petition, according to the State, is the same as the subject-matter of a petition already examined by the International Labor Organization (ILO); and, for the violation, by the Commission, of the rule regarding confidentiality when a copy of report 37/97 was send to the petitioners.
The application in the present Case was file by the Commission on January 16, 1998, and refers to the alleged violations, by the State of Panama, of Articles 8 (Right to a Fair Trail), 9 (Freedom for 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 which caused the arbitrary release of 270 public employees who had participated in a march for labor benefits, and 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 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.
5) Villagran Morales et al. Case: Merits Phase. On January 28 and 29, the Court will hold a public hearing on the merits in the Case, in order to receive the declarations of the witnesses proposed by the parties, who will testify about their knowledge of the facts of the application.
The application is motivated by events that occurred in June , 1990, when agents of the Guatemalan State allegedly kidnapped, tortured and killed Henry Geovanni Contreras, Federico Clemente Figueroa-Tunchez, Julio Roberto Caal-Sandoval, Jovito Josue Juarez-Cifentes, and allegedly killed Anstraum Villagran-Morales. The application also states that the Guatemalan State provided no effective remedy for these crimes. Therefore, the Commission requests that the Court determine that the State of Guatemala violated the Articles 1 (Obligation to Respect Rights), 4 (Right to Life), 5 (Right to Humane Treatment), 7 (Right to Personal Liberty), 8 (Right to a Fair Trail), and 25 (Right to Judicial Protection) of the American Convention on Human Rights as well as Article 19 (Right of the Child) of the same in relation with three of the victims and Articles 1, 6 and 8 of the Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture in relation with four of them.
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. The Court will also consider its Annual Report for 1998.
The composition of the Court for this Regular Session will be: Hernan Salgado-Pesantes (Ecuador), President; Antônio A. Cançado Trindade (Brazil), Vice-President; Maximo Pacheco-Gomez (Chile); Oliver Jackman (Barbados); Alirio Abreu-Burelli (Venezuela); Sergio Garcia-Ramirez (Mexico) and Carlos Vicente de Roux-Rengifo (Colombia). In the Suarez Rosero Case, the Court will be presided by Judge Antônio A. Cançado Trindade (Brazil), since, due to his Ecuadorean nationality, the President of the Court, Judge Hernan Salgado-Pesantes, yielded the Presidency for this Case against Ecuador. In the Blake Case, Alfonso Novales-Aguirre, appointed by the State of Guatemala as Judge ad hoc, will participate. In the Baena Ricardo et al. Case, Rolando A. Reyna, appointed by the State of Panama, will participate as Judge ad hoc. The Secretary of the Court, Manuel E. Ventura-Robles, and the Deputy Secretary, Renzo Pomi, will also be present. Mr. Pomi, Deputy Secretary, started his functions on 1 January 1999. He was appointed by means of a public process. Mr. Pomi is an attorney with an L.L.M. of Harvard Law School and is Uruguayan by nationality.
San Jose, 11 January, 1999.
(*) El contenido de este comunicado es responsabilidad de
la Secretaría de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos. El texto oficial
de los documentos reseñados puede obtenerse mediante solicitud escrita dirigida
a la Secretaría, en la dirección que se adjunta.
The contents of this release are the responsibility of the Secretariat of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The official text of the document may be obtained by submitting a written request to the Secretariat at the address provided at the end of this document.