The Inter-American Court of Human Rights will hold its XLV Regular Session at its seat in San Jose, Costa Rica, from September 16 to October 2, 1999. During this session, the Court will hear the following matters:
1) Withdrawal of the Contentious Jurisdiction by the State of Peru: the Court in plenary will analyze the withdrawal of the acceptance of the contentious jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights by the State of Peru and its effects on the cases recently submitted by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (Ivcher Bronstein and Tribunal Constitucional Cases) against Peru. Likewise, the full Court will analyze the noncompliance of the Judgments of the Court in the Loayza Tamayo and Castillo Petruzzi et al Cases by the State of Peru.
2) Durand and Ugarte Case (Peru): Merits Phase. On September 20 at 09:30 a.m., the Court will hold, at its seat, a public hearing on the merits of the case, with the object of hearing the declarations of the witness and the expert proposed by the Commission, who will testify about their knowledge of the facts of the application.
This Case, submitted to the Court on August 8, 1996, was based on the facts that occurred as of February 14 and 15, 1986. According to the application, on said dates Mrrss. Nolberto Durand-Ugarte and Gabriel Ugarte-Rivera were detained for their alleged participation in terrorist activities and were imprisoned at the San Juan Bautista Prison (El Frontón). In June 1986, an uprising took place in the penitentiary center and, since that date, Mr. Durand-Ugarte and Mr. Ugarte-Rivera have been missing. However, on July 17, 1987, the Sixth Correctional Tribunal of Lima declared them innocent and ordered their immediate release. According to the application, the State of Peru is responsible for violating Articles 1(1) (Obligation to Respect Rights), 2 (Domestic Legal Effects), 4 (Right to Life), 7 (Right to Personal Liberty), 8 (Right to a Fair Trial), 25 (Judicial Protection) and 27 (Suspension of Guarantees) of the American Convention on Human Rights, to the victims' detriment.
3) Cantoral Benavides Case: Merits Phase. On September 20 at 15:30 hours, the Court will hold, at its seat, a public hearing on the merits of the case, with the purpose of hearing the witnesses and the expert witness proposed by the Commission, who will testify about their knowledge of the facts of the application.
The facts of the application, submitted for the Court's consideration on August 8, 1996, concern the alleged violations, to the detriment of Luis Alberto Cantoral-Benavides who, according to the Commission, was illegally deprived of his liberty; submitted to cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment; tried twice on the same facts and had his right to a fair trial violated. According to the application, the State of Peru is responsible for violating, to the detriment of Mr. Cantoral-Benavides, Articles 5 (Right to Humane Treatment), 7 (Right to Personal Liberty), 8 (Right to a Fair Trial) and 25 (Judicial Protection) of the American Convention on Human Rights, all in relation to Article 1(1) of the same, which establishes the obligation to respect rights. The Commission also claims that Peru is responsible for violating Article 2 (Domestic Legal Effects) of the American Convention and Articles 2 and 8 of The Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture.
4) Cesti Hurtado Case: Merits Phase. On September 23 and 24, the Court will deliberate and study the possibility of passing Judgment on the merits in this case.
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 Trial), 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 the result of the detention, sentencing and deprivation of liberty of Gustavo Adolfo Cesti-Hurtado in a process before the Military Jurisdiction, not withstanding the existence of a definitive judgment issued in a habeas corpus proceeding, ordering that Mr. Cesti-Hurtado be withdrawn from the Military Jurisdiction and that his personal liberty not be hindered. The Commission also requested the Court to require the 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.
5) Blake Case: Interpretation of the Judgment on Reparations Phase. On October 1, the Court will deliberate about the request for an interpretation of the Judgment on Reparations of January 22, 1999, presented on April 21, 1999 by the State of Guatemala, concerning the alleged discrepancies between this Judgment and the Judgment on the Merits of January 24, 1999.
6) Request for the Advisory Opinion OC-16: On September 27, 28, 29 and 30 and October 1, the Court will deliberate on the request for an advisory opinion submitted by the State of Mexico, in which regard observations were presented by several State Members of the OAS, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the applicant, some NGOs and some individual persons acting as amicus curiae.
The request for the advisory opinion, submitted on December 9, 1997, refers to whether all detained foreigners who face the risk of the death penalty have the right to be notified, from the moment of their arrest, of their capacity to obtain the assistance of their country's consular authorities and the guarantees of due process. The State of Mexico raised questions about the minimum procedural guarantees in criminal proceedings where capital punishment may be imposed, about consular functions and the application of the death penalty to foreigners, in light of Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, Articles 2, 6, 14 and 50 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 3(k) of the Charter of the OAS, and Articles I, II and XXVI of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, all based on Article 64(1) of the American Convention on Human Rights.
7) Baena Ricardo et al. Case: Preliminary Objections Phase. On October 2, the Court will deliberate and study the possibility of passing Judgment on the preliminary objections raised by the State of Panama 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 preliminary objections submitted by the State of Panama in this Case, which were opposed by the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, allege the inadmissibility 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; the subject of the application which, according to the State, is the same subject-matter of a petition already examined by the International Labor Organization (ILO), and, the violation, by the Commission, of the rule regarding confidentiality when Report 37/97 was sent to the petitioners.
The application in the present Case was submitted 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 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.
8) Other Matters: During this session, the Court will elect its President and Vice President for the 1999-2001 term. Moreover, 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 ordered provisional measures.
The composition of the Court for this Regular Session will be the following: Hernán Salgado-Pesantes (Ecuador), President; Antônio A. Cançado-Trindade (Brazil), Vice-President; Máximo Pacheco-Gómez (Chile); Oliver Jackman (Barbados); Alirio Abreu-Burelli (Venezuela); Sergio García-Ramírez (Mexico) and Carlos Vicente de Roux-Rengifo (Colombia). In the Durand and Ugarte and Cantoral Benavides Cases, Fernando Vidal Ramírez, appointed by the State of Peru for these cases will participate as Judge ad hoc. In the Blake Case, Alfonso Novales Aguirre, appointed by the State of Guatemala, was summoned as Judge ad hoc. Furthermore, the Secretary of the Court, Manuel E. Ventura-Robles, and the Deputy Secretary, Renzo Pomi, will be present.
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.
(*) 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 documents may be obtained by submitting a written request to the Secretariat at the address provided at the end of this document.