In Cuba, the judiciary continues to suffer from a noticeable lack of independence, particularly when dealing with political crimes or crimes related to the security of the State.
The legal profession remains largely under government control. Some 80 pro-democracy activists were arbitrarily detained and convicted in March and April 2003 following trials where fair trial and due process guarantees were largely ignored.
Lack of procedural guarantees was also reported in the trial of three ferry hijackers in April 2003. According to Christine Chanet, Personal Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights for Cuba, the rules of criminal procedure need to be amended to ensure the independence of the judiciary and guarantee fair trial and due process rights.
The government continues to refuse access to non-governmental organizations or to co-operate with United Nations envoys whose mandates are seen as spurious.
Cuba-Attacks on Justice 2005-Publications-2008 (full text, PDF)Attacks on Justice 2005Publications