Presentation of Amicus Curiae before the Inter-American Human Rights Court along with DPLF regarding the case Gutiérrez Navas et al. vs. Honduras.
We are delighted to share that Professor Claudia Martin, Co-Director of the Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law, presented an Amicus Curiae to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) together with the Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF) related to the case Gutiérrez Navas and Others vs. Honduras. Professor Martin was supported by students from our LL.M in residence program, Mosi Meza (Peru), Luis Eliud Tapia (Mexico), and Gabriel Ortiz (Venezuela), whom we sincerely thank for their commitment and dedication to researching and writing the Amicus.
The case concerns the removal of four judges from the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of Honduras by the National Congress on December 12, 2012. The action was taken after the Court - by majority vote - declared the Special Law on Police Purge unconstitutional, to which the National Congress stated that it "was not consistent with the security policy" of the State. Shortly after this removal, on April 5, 2013, the National Congress approved Decree 51-2013, the Special Law on Political Trials, which regulated this functional responsibility procedure for high officials of the Honduran State, including its high authorities of the justice system.
This Amicus focuses on the need to develop inter-American jurisprudence on judicial independence applicable to political trial proceedings and specifically explores how the Special Law did not remedy the violation of the principle of legality concerning the obligation to adopt domestic legal provisions of the removed judges. The preceding insofar as the Law establishes provisions openly contrary to consolidated precedents in the Inter-American System, including guarantees of a reasonable time frame for adequate defense, access to an independent and impartial judging body, and the right to judicial review. In effect, this Amicus acknowledges that since Rico Vs. Argentina case, the IACHR determined that political trials against judicial officials are not necessarily unconventional. Still, to be compatible, they require compliance with specific guarantees not protected under the Law in question.
The filing of this Amicus seeks to offer elements to the Court to seriously consider pronouncing on the Law, which is justified in that, despite not having been applied to the victims of the case, its issuance far from constituting a repair was a recognition of the violations that gave rise to the case. Therefore, the Honduran State has an obligation to reform the Law. Failure to take these actions risks the same violations in the Gutiérrez Navas and Others vs. Honduras case being replicated in all situations where political trials are initiated against high court judicial officials in Honduras.
You can find the text of the Amicus at the HERE
Likewise, you can review the DPLF's summary of the Amicus on their website: https://dplf.org/es/resources/amicus-curiae-gutierrez-navas-y-otros-vs-honduras