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Individual Right of Redress Before International Human Rights Bodies

The rights of an individual are indivisible from economic interest, from profit, and from Government.

These rights, human rights and fundamental freedoms, are what any individual, no matter from where they hail, ought to expect as a mere minimum, as not only do they serve to ensure freedom, they ensure that those freedoms are protected against those that may seek to deny or oppress.

This oppression can take many forms, and is not necessarily that which is ordinarily envisaged when it is given consideration; oppression is not always the action of an autocratic or dictatorial Government.

Oppression can be merely denying an individual a right before the Government, before peers, and before the Courts.

It is precisely for this reason that a number of international tribunals and human rights monitoring mechanisms have been developed, so as to enable citizens of various countries to make complaints about States, and have those complaints considered by an international judicial body that is independent and impartial, such as the European Court on Human Rights, the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights, and also, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers has the privilege and honour of having brought cases before all three tribunals on behalf of victims, the most recent of which being brought before the Inter-American Commission, seeking to challenge the State of Ecuador on the basis that recent Court proceedings in respect of a victim for whom Guernica acts, have resulted in his fair trial rights being denied. It is noted that the right to a fair trial is of such fundamental importance in a democratic state that it absolute and non-derogable, Such rights are often seen as some of the most basic of rights that an individual ought to be able to enjoy, as it is through these rights that an individual is protected against both a State, and against an individual(s).

At their most simplistic, such rights ensure ‘fairness’, that all are equal before the Courts, and thus, when such rights are infringed an individual loses this protection and runs the risk of becoming a victim.

Such international judicial mechanisms are essential not only in ensuring that such rights are respected, but also, that such rights are developed across the relevant region; they serve therefore as an essential further level of the system of ‘checks and balances’ concerning the powers of the state and the human rights and fundamental freedoms of the individual.

These tribunals are not restricted to considering the matter in accordance with the domestic law of the relevant State, they often take a more holistic approach, in that their jurisprudence, and therefore their decisions, are truly international, and thus have far reaching consequences for allstate parties to the tribunals.

Some would criticise that this is an infringement of sovereignty, that such a body has no basis for interfering with the affairs of a nation state, with respect however, such criticism has no proper basis, as such states have voluntarily signed and ratified the relevant conventions, and thus voluntarily conferred the ability of the relevant tribunal to rule on matters brought before it. It is further a point that requires reinforcement that the rights which are enforced in these tribunals are often grounded in general principles of treaty based and customary international law, considered peremptory norms, and as such there is a general obligation to respect and enforce such principles.

In the instant case, arguments are advanced that Article 8 (Right to a Fair Trial), of the Inter-American Convention has been violated, along with Article 25 (Right to Judicial Protection), citing both domestic principles in Ecuador, and the wider jurisprudence of the Commission, taking into account decisions made in respect of complaints regarding other states.

It is hoped that this most recent filing is determined in favour of our client seeking redress, both for him specifically, and further, to enable the concept of fair trial rights to be developed further across the Americas.


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