IACHR ALARMED BY THE RETIREMENT OF
FIVE SUPREME COURT JUDGES IN HAITI
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) is alarmed by the recent issuance of an executive order resulting in the immediate retirement of five Supreme Court judges in Haiti.
The Commission has consistently emphasized that judicial independence and impartiality are two elements crucial to the proper administration of justice and protection of human rights in a democratic society. In particular, the protection of judges’ tenure is considered an essential component for maintaining the independence of the judiciary. The Haitian government’s immediate retirement of the five judges, in apparent conflict with these principles, challenges efforts to reinforce the justice system in Haiti and calls into question the government’s commitment to judicial independence and the rule of law.
In light of these fundamental human rights commitments, the Commission takes this opportunity to reiterate a call on the state of Haiti to uphold its obligations under the American Convention on Human Rights and to take all necessary measures to ensure that the independence of the judiciary in Haiti is protected.
The Commission has received information of the one-week long strike by judges in Port-au-Prince to protest the retirement of their colleagues in the Supreme Court and will continue to closely monitor the events in Haiti.
Washington, D.C. December 16, 2005