The Guatemalan Constitutional Court Building

Guatemalan Constitutional Court Cites AUWCL Students' Amicus Brief in Decision to Eliminate Death Penalty

Nov. 3, 2017

This past spring, AUWCL students Aythnis Rivera LL.M. '17 and Tatiana Devia '18 submitted an amicus brief that was recently cited by the Guatemalan Constitutional Court in support of its decision to eliminate the death penalty. This was the first time that the Constitutional Court referred to a specific amicus brief in its decision. 

The students, who are part of the law school's Impact Litigation Project, were pleased to hear about the decision. "Working on the amicus brief was an excellent opportunity to examine the international tendency towards abolishment of the death penalty," said Devia. "As such, we were truly hoping that Guatemala would revise its legislation and join the international trend. We were delighted to hear about the positive outcome of this case.”

"It was very enriching to learn about the international norms regarding the death penalty. Our work is finally getting positive outcomes," added Rivera. 

The Impact Litigation Project is an initiative of the Center for Human Rights & Humanitarian Law. Through the Seminar on Strategic Litigation in International Human Rights, AUWCL students have the opportunity to collaborate on supervised cases with the potential to achieve broad and resounding impact on public policy and legislation. In addition to documenting human rights violations, this initiative seeks to promote government accountability, expand public education and awareness, and provide a foundation for future litigation that helps defend and safeguard human rights around the world.