The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has set a public hearing for December 4. The body will analyze the role of public prosecutor’s offices in the protection of human rights in Latin America.
The request for the hearing, which has the support of JSCA and has been strongly encouraged by regional judicial institutions and NGOs* from 12 countries -such as the DPLF, ACIJ, INECIP (Argentina) and DeJusticia (Colombia)- is meant to discuss the role of public prosecutor’s offices in the impartial prosecution of crimes in order to guarantee access to justice for victims as well as respect for judicial guarantees in the context of the criminal procedure.
JSCA Research and Projects Director Marco Fandiño spoke in favor of the request. He explained that the entity strongly supports the impartiality of agencies like public prosecutor’s offices, the protection of human rights and improvement of citizen access to judicial services.
A press release shared by the Due Process of Law Foundation explained that prosecutors and prosecution agencies are key for the independent and impartial prosecution of crimes and that these institutions have played a more important role over the past few years because they are an essential element of the state’s response to serious cases of corruption and human rights violations.
Despite their importance, the press release adds, the region’s prosecutors have faced important challenges ranging from the need to preserve their independence from other government agencies and branches -particularly the Executive Branch- in such key processes as the election of the Attorney General and other high-ranking prosecutors to protection from threats, harassment, interference and the criminalization of their work, particularly when they investigate cases of public interest.
The press release notes that, “In the past few years alone, the Inter-American system has granted protective measures to various attorneys general of the region to protect their lives and personal safety and that of their families.”
Where can I watch the hearing?
The hearing will be held virtually on Friday, December 4, 2020 at 9 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (US A). The hearing will be broadcast live on IACHR social media (Twitter: @CIDH) and can be followed using the hashtag #CIDHAudiencias.
Register here for the Zoom meeting:
*Organizations and individuals requesting the hearing:
Association for Equality and Justice (ACIJ), Argentina-Institute for Comparative Studies in the Criminal and Social Sciences (INECIP), Argentina- Fundación Construir, Bolivia-Constitutional Tribunal Association, Bolivia-Londres 38, Space of Memories, Chile- Center for Law, Justice and Society (DEJUSTICIA), Colombia- Observatory on Rights and Justice (ODJ), Ecuador-National Foundation for Development (FUNDE), Salvadoran Chapter of Transparency International- El Salvador-Feminist Collective for Local Development, El Salvador-Salvadoran Human Rights Defense Network, El Salvador-Passionist Social Service (SSPAS), El Salvador-Foundation for Research for the Application of Law (FESPAD), El Salvador-Azul Originario, El Salvador-Citizen Association for the Decriminalization of Abortion in El Salvador, El Salvador- Impunity Watch Guatemala, Guatemala-Fundación Myrna Mack, Guatemala-Alliance for Reform Guatemala-Lawyers without Borders Canada (ASFC), Honduras-Center for Research for Democracy (CESPAD), Honduras The Peoples’ Law Firm (BJP), Honduras-Foundation for Justice and Democratic Rule of Law-FJEDD, Mexico-Transitional Justice Mexico, Mexico-Legal Defense Institute (IDL), Peru- National Human Rights Coordinating Agency, Peru-Working Group Against Corruption, Peru- Universidad Los Andes, Mérida Human Rights Observatory, Venezuela-Carmen Alguindigue, Venezuela-Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF), United States.