Honduras: better guarantees needed for judicial independence

The ICJ has published a report seeking better guarantees for judicial independence and the separation of powers in Honduras.

The ICJ found a significant weakening of the judiciary after the coup d’etat against then-President Manuel Zelaya in 2009.

Key concerns include undue interference by political actors, and attacks against judges, reporters and human rights defenders.

Constitutional and legal reforms since the 2009 coup have not lead to real improvements. The law governing the judiciary does not satisfy international standards: judges face arbitrary transfer and removal from office in the absence of proper disciplinary procedures.

The right of judges to form professional associations is not guaranteed in practice.

The ICJ report includes recommendations to the authorities and others in Honduras, to help bring Honduras into compliance with international standards on the rule of law, human rights, and the independence of the judiciary. Recommendations address among other things: reforms to procedures for selecting judges, ensuring the teaching and dissemination of international instruments and standards concerning the rule of law, and measures to ensure judges can perform their duties without undue influence from any quarter.

The report examines developments since an earlier ICJ report published in 2003. It is based on activities and research conducted in Honduras by the ICJ’s Centre for the Independence of Judges and Lawyers in cooperation with the ICJ’s Central America office.

The report reflects information provided by judges, judicial officials and other actors within the legal system in Honduras.


Ramón Cadena, ICJ Regional Director, Central America, t +50 22 335 3325; ramon.cadena(a)icj.org

Honduras-Independencia poder judicial-Publications-report-2014-spa (full text in pdf)

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