Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Spain / Universal Jurisdiction

International Legal and Human Rights Groups Petition UN to Support Spanish Judge Baltasar Garzón and Independence of Judiciary
Center for Constitutional Rights (press release), May 24, 2010
"Invoking the fundamental principle of the right to an independent and impartial judiciary, Spanish Judge Balthasar Garzón has received strong support from ten international organizations of jurists and human rights advocates. Lawyers Rights Watch Canada, European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, the Asian Legal Resource Centre, Lawyers Without Borders Canada, the Center for Constitutional Rights, the International Federation for Human Rights, the World Organisation Against Torture, the National Lawyers Guild, the International Association of Democratic Lawyers and Asociación Española por el Derecho Humano a la Paz (AEDIDH) have joined in submitting a formal request for action by the United Nations on his behalf.
Their request is addressed to UN special rapporteurs concerned with judicial independence, torture, extra-judicial executions, and the protection of human rights, as well as to Human Rights Council working groups on enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention. ... The actions taken in the Garzón case demonstrate improper interference with the judiciary, in violation of Spain’s obligations to protect an independent judiciary, including in cases of investigating serious international law violations at home. As Judge Garzón is internationally recognized as a leader in the fight to end impunity for mass human rights violations and efforts to strengthen universal jurisdiction, the case against him will likely have a chilling effect on those lawyers and judges willing to pursue accountability at home and abroad. [...]"

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