WELCOMES DECLARATION OF UNCONSTITUTIONALITY
Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) expresses its satisfaction with the
recent decision of the Colombian Constitutional Court declaring Law 684 of
2001 on Defense and National Security to be unconstitutional, following
three challenges filed by private citizens, organizations of the civil
society, and state agencies (specifically, the offices of the attorney
general and the ombudsman).
IACHR has recognized the right and duty of OAS member states to protect
their civilian populations and institutional structures at times of armed
conflict and other grave threats to law and order. However, over the years
the IACHR has stated that the measures adopted toward such goals must be
implemented without neglecting to respect the rights and basic guarantees
set forth in international human rights law.
Both before and after the passage of Law 684, the IACHR publicly stated its position that several of its provisions did not comply with the standards for administration of justice set forth by the American Convention on Human Rights and other applicable instruments. It therefore now congratulates the Constitutional Court on a decision that will contribute to uphold the rule of law in Colombia.
Washington D.C., April 17, 2002