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Presidents Joaquim Barbosa and Garcia-Sayán discuss about the I/A Court H. R. in Brazil


Tuesday, 22 October 2013

In a press conference held this Tuesday (22), the President of the Supreme Federal Court (STF), chief justice Joaquim Barbosa, and the President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (I/A Court H. R.), Diego Garcia-Sayán, disclosed the 49th Extraordinary Session of the latter Court to be held on November 11 through 15 in Brasilia. At this session, the case on the missing persons will be analyzed concerning the Colombian Palace of Justice takeover by military forces in response to the M19 political group action that took place on November of 1985.


Few months after being sworn in on the STF and National Council of Justice (CNJ) Presidency, chief justice Joaquim Barbosa invited President Diego Garcia-Sayán to participate at the Inter-American Court’s extraordinary session in Brazil. “The invitation reflected the importance that the Brazilian Supreme Court attributes to its institutional relations with the most important judicial jurisdiction of the inter-American system which is responsible for the interpretation and application of the American Convention on Human Rights (Pact of San José of Costa Rica) – of November 22, 1969 –, ratified of Brazil in 1992,” he stressed.

The invitation aims to make the Inter-American Court’s case-law and way of working more known and, therefore, “strengthen the understanding of Law practitioners in Brazil on the inter-American mechanisms related to human rights.”


Diego Garcia-Sayán affirmed that the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has gotten closer to Americas’ people, the true recipients of its rationale. “This Court belongs to the judiciary systems of the Americas because it was created by the sovereign decision of American countries, among them is Brazil, in order to complement the order of the national institutions on the protection of human rights,” he stated.

According to him, over the past few years the I/A Court H. R. “has taken solid steps” in the sense of its consolidation. “The work quantity is each time greater,” he said highlighting that the Inter-American Court rulings are being implemented in the countries at which it has jurisdiction. And he remembered that the Court passed its first ruling 25 years ago.

In accordance to President Diego Garcia-Sayán, during the 49th Extraordinary Session people may observe how the Court works. “The Brazilians may see the Court in action when we analyze a Colombian case in which three victims, three witnesses and three experts will be heard,” he informed. The I/A Court H. R. said he accepted the “generous invitation” so that a session would be held in Brazil “because we are certain that this judicial dialogue will be enriched.”

I/A Court H. R.

Among the demands that arrive to the I/A Court H. R. are themes related to the discrimination on sexual orientation, lack of access to public information, property rights and indigenous peoples’ rights. According to Diego Garcia-Sayán, Human Rights violations “are not presumed, they must be demonstrated.”

The Inter-American Court President took the opportunity to inform that the court has sought to guarantee the victim’s direct and autonomous participation, “with presentation of their own writings, of its own proofs.” For that reason, it recently created the inter-American public defender figure for people who do not have a lawyer. “There is a list of high profile attorneys from Latin America that provide their services free of charge,” he said.

Garcia-Sayán also explained that there is a support fund for victims to help pay the travel expenses and guarantee their participation in the sessions. “We try to make the victims have each time more direct access because that is the true reason of belonging to a system of human rights,” he highlighted.

The following were also present in the press conference: Federal Citizens’ Rights Attorney Aurélio Veiga Rios – sub-General Attorney of the Republic designated to exercise that position – and one of the seven Inter-American Court justices, the Brazilian Roberto de Figueiredo Caldas.


The maiden solemn session of the 49th Extraordinary Session of the Inter-American Court will take place on November 11, 2013, on 6 p.m. at the STF Plenary. A hearing will take place on the 12 and 13 of November on the Colombian case. An international seminar is scheduled to take place on the 14th at the Superior Electoral Court (TSE) to address distinct case-law aspects and Inter-American Court rulings. Then, on the 15th, the Inter-American Court will meet in a closed session.


Read More:
10/22/2013 - CorteIDH e STF anunciam sessão extraordinária em parceria com Judiciário brasileiro

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