Joint statement on Venezuela to UN Human Rights Council

We've joined with IBA Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) for a session on the independent international fact-finding mission on Venezuela at the 46th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

What's the issue

We're concerned at the ongoing efforts of the Venezuelan government to undermine the separation of powers and ensure a lack of judicial independence of courts across the country, including the highest courts in the land.

An independent judiciary is a fundamental pillar of the rule of law, key for the effectively functioning of democracy and access to justice for all citizens.

The alarming and sustained interference of the executive branch with the judicial process is reflected in the arbitrary appointment, lack of permanent tenure, and removal of judges, violating the principles of judicial independence.

Courts effectively controlled by the executive have played an important role in the persecution of those critical of the government. Many judges operate in fear of reprisals.

We're particularly concerned about the 11-year persecution and prosecution of Judge María Lourdes Afiuni, where serious violations of fair trial guarantees have occurred, as well as torture in detention, and other human rights abuses .

Her case has been intentionally used by the Venezuelan government to deter other judges from carrying out their work impartially and independently.

What we've asked for

We've called on the independent mechanism to:

  • closely monitor the erosion of judicial independence
  • investigate any acts of persecution against members of the legal profession

Maximise your Law Society membership with My LS