World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Judicial System in El Salvador Must Remain Independent

Judicial System in El Salvador Must Remain Independent - UN Expert

New York, Nov 27 2012 - A United Nations expert today urged El Salvador to ensure the independence of its judicial system and comply with its decisions to avoid a constitutional crisis such as the one it experienced earlier this year.

"Decisions of judicial authorities cannot and should not be interpreted by other organs of the State; they must be complied with," said the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Gabriela Knaul, at the end of her visit to the Latin American country.

While she welcomed the democratic advances made in recent years, she stressed that the country still faces many challenges regarding the autonomy of the judicial system.

"The institutional crisis between the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice and the Legislative Assembly risks undermining the independence of the judiciary and the principle of separation of powers," warned Ms. Knaul, recalling that existing international human rights standards require all governmental and other institutions to respect the independence of the judiciary, and that inappropriate or unwarranted interferences with the judicial process are inadmissible.

According to media reports, on 5 June the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court ruled that two previous elections of Supreme Court magistrates by the National Assembly were unconstitutional and ordered new elections for 15 judges and their alternates. The National Assembly appealed this decision to the Central American Court of Justice, which ruled in the Assembly's favour, causing the Constitutional Chamber to argue that the multinational court did not have authority over the country's Government branches and leading to a constitutional crisis.

Ms. Knaul said the crisis demonstrated that the current procedure for the appointment of magistrates of the Supreme Court did not provide sufficient guarantees to ensure that they are selected on the basis of fair and objective criteria.

"The Legislative Assembly should review the procedure, so as to ensure that judges and magistrates are appointed solely on the basis of their qualification, and not on the basis of their actual or presumed proximity to political parties," Ms. Knaul said.

She also expressed concern about the Legislative Assembly's failure to appoint a new Attorney-General of the Republic and noted he or she would have a crucial role in guaranteeing legality, combating corruption and impunity and protecting human rights and fundamental freedoms.

"The new Attorney-General should be appointed solely on the basis of his/her integrity, independence, competence and ability and through an open and transparent process," she added.

During her eight-day mission, Ms. Knaul held meetings in the capital, San Salvador, and Santa Ana with senior Government officials, the Legislative Assembly, Supreme Court magistrates, judges, prosecutors, international and local non-governmental organizations, and UN agencies.

Independent experts, or special rapporteurs, are appointed in an honorary capacity by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. Ms. Knaul is scheduled to present her report on her visit to the Council in June 2013.

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

As Health Needs Rise In Somalia, Funding Hits New Low

As health needs rise in Somalia, funding hits new low, cutting off 1.5 million from care – UN More>>

Need To End Violence Against Children In Conflict

‘We should be outraged’ more not being done to end violence against children in conflict – UNICEF chief More>>

On Mandela Day, UN Joins Call To Promote Community Service

Nelson Mandela, then Deputy President of the African National Congress of South Africa, raises his fist in the air while addressing the Special Committee Against Apartheid in the General Assembly Hall. UN Photo/P. Sudhakaran More>>

Some $3.2 Billion Needed For Ebola Recovery Efforts

Some $3.2 billion needed for Ebola recovery efforts in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone – UN More>>

World Day: UN Spotlights Plight Of Vulnerable Populalations

Syrian refugees fleeing the fighting near the Syrian city of Kobani wait in a holding area before boarding buses in Turkey (September 2014). Photo: UNHCR /I. Prickett More>>

Afghanisatan: Direct Talks Between Government And Taliban

The United Nations Security Council has welcomed the recently held direct talks between Afghan Government and Taliban representatives as a step towards “peace and reconciliation” in the region. More>>

Eradicating World Hunger By 2030

Agriculture workers collect carrots on a farm in Chimaltenango, Guatemala. Photo: World Bank/Maria Fleischmann More>>

Bangladesh: Flood Leads To UN Agency Providing Food Relief

Anwar Hossain unloads cartons of High Energy Biscuits from a pickup truck and transfers them to a distribution center in Kawar Khop union, Ramu upazila, Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Photo: WFP/Kamrul Mithon More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news