Attacks on Justice 2002: Colombia

At least 64 judges, lawyers and prosecutors were victims of attacks between February 2000 and November 2001. Intimidation against other judicial officers and witnesses contributed to the widespread impunity enjoyed by a wide variety of criminal offenders.

The criminal justice system failed to address adequately such endemic problems as corruption, armed opposition and paramilitary activities, organized crime, drug-trafficking, human rights violations, leading to widespread public distrust of the judiciary.

The Constitutional Court overturned much of the Law of Specialised Jurisdiction.

Three new codes on criminal justice entered into force.

The military judiciary has generally refused to transfer cases of human rights violations involving high-ranking officers to civilian jurisdiction.

A new law was approved in congress, which, if implemented, would undermine the independence of the judiciary and the separation of powers.

The Constitutional Court ruled that judging a military officer allegedly responsible for humanitarian law and human rights violations within the military judiciary amounted to a grossly illegal proceeding.

The armed opposition FARC-EP has continued to prevent the presence of an impartial judiciary in the demilitarized zone and has carried out grossly unfair trials.

Attacks on Justice 2002 – Colombia [full text, PDF]


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