During the XLV Regular Session of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, held from the 16th September to the 2nd October 1999, the European Court of Human Rights expressed its support to the decision of the Inter-American Court, on the judgements concerning competence in the Ivcher Bronstein and the Constitutional Court cases, whereby the unilateral and immediate withdrawal of the State of Peru from the Court's competence was declared inadmissible.
The expression of support was transmitted by the President of the European Court of Human Rights, Judge Luzius Wildhaber, to the President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Judge Antônio A. Cançado Trindade, in a letter dated 1st October 1999, stating the following on the problem caused by the presumed withdrawal of Peru effective immediately:
It fears that the consequences of such action are serious for the development of the international protection of human rights. The process initiated by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and followed by the European Convention and the American Convention on Human Rights, the United Nations International Covenant on Economic, Social and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights, originates in the perception that international legal guarantees are necessary to reinforce the effective protection of the basic rights at national level. In this respect, the role of the international legal organisations is deemed essential to establish and consolidate the precept of law throughout the entire international community, thus helping to ensure peace and stability. This has been recognised in Europe, in your Continent, and also in Africa, where an International Court is already expected to be established.
Finding ourselves as close as we are to the end of a century that has witnessed the most horrible human rights violations, it can only be inferred that any movement that attempts to defy the principle of international competence is a step backward at a time when developing the protection of the basic rights constitutes a ray of hope for the new millennium.
This letter was transmitted to the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Mr. Walter Schwimmer.
The members of the Inter-American Court are Antônio A. Cançado Trindade (Brazil), President; Máximo Pacheco-Gómez (Chile), Vice-President; Hernán Salgado-Pesantes (Ecuador); Oliver Jackman (Barbados); Alirio Abreu-Burelli (Venezuela); Sergio García-Ramírez (Mexico), and Carlos Vicente de-Roux-Rengifo (Colombia). The Court's Secretary is Manuel E. Ventura-Robles, and Renzo Pomi is Deputy Secretary.
In conformity with the American Convention on Human Rights, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, an autonomous legal institution of the Organization of American States established in 1979, is comprised of legal experts of the highest moral authority and recognised competence in the field of human rights.
For further information, please address all request to:
Manuel E. Ventura-Robles, Secretary
Inter-American Court of Human Rights
Apartado 6906-1000, San Jose, Costa Rica
Telephone (506) 234 0581. Telfax (506) 234 0584
San Jose, 2nd October 1999.