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Nš 25/99


The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter "the Commission") has learned that the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (hereinafter "the Court") has handed down two judgments in which it held Peru's attempted withdrawal from the Court’s contentious jurisdiction with immediate effect, to be inadmissible. The two unanimous decisions were rendered on September 24, 1999, reagrding cases brought by the Commission against the Republic of Peru: Baruch Ivcher Bronstein and Constitutional Court. The decisions state that the Court is competent to hear both cases, that the proceedings will continue, and that both the State and the Commission will be summoned to public hearings on the merits in due course.

According to the Applications presented by the Commission to the Court, the Baruch Ivcher Bronstein case refers to the violation of the rights to a fair trial, freedom of expression, nationality, private property, and judicial protection, enshrined in Articles 8, 13, 20, 21, and 25, respectively, of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter "the Convention"), when the Peruvian State arbitrarily revoked the "title of nationality" of Mr. Ivcher Bronstein in order to remove the television station from his editorial control and restrict his freedom of expression, of which he availed himself to denounce serious human rights violations. The Constitutional Court case concerns violation of political rights, the right to a fair trial, and the right to judicial protection, recognized in Articles 23, 8, and 25, respectively, of the Convention, in that Peru by unlawfully removing three judges of the Constitutional Court, disrupted that institution so that it was unable to perform its primary function of exercising judicial review of the constitutionality of laws, which left the inhabitants of Peru without proper protection.

The Commission wishes to note the legal soundness of these judgments of the Court, which are based on a thoughtful interpretation of the Convention and careful analysis of international jurisprudence, and represent a significant contribution to strengthening the inter-American system for the protection of human rights.

The Commission also wishes to note that, in accordance with Articles 67 and 68 of the Convention, the judgments of the Court are final, are not subject to appeal, and are binding on the States parties to the Convention in any case to which they are parties. Furthermore, as the Court recalls in its September 24 judgments, any doubt or dispute regarding competence is to be resolved by the tribunal itself.

Finally, the Commission hopes that Peru will take this opportunity to comply fully with the international obligations which it has freely undertaken and thereby to contribute to the preservation of the fundamental freedoms of its nationals and all the inhabitants of its territory within the framework of the hemispheric human rights system.



Washington, D. C., September 29, 1999