CUBA
 JURIST >> WORLD LAW >> Cuba 

Constitution, Government & Legislation | Courts & Judgments | Human Rights | Legal Profession | Law Schools
覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧
map courtesy CIA World Factbook; click for enlargement Constitution, Government & Legislation

According to the Cuban Constitution, the National Assembly of People's Power, and its Council of State when the body is not in session, has supreme authority in the Cuban system. Since the National Assembly meets only twice a year for a few days each time, the 31-member Council of State wields power. The Council of Ministers, through its nine-member executive committee, handles the administration of the of the state-controlled economy. Fidel Castro is President of the Council of State and Council of Ministers and his brother Raul serves as First Vice President of both bodies in addition to being Minister of Defense.

The Communist Party is constitutionally recognized as Cuba's only legal political party. The party monopolizes all government positions, including judicial offices. Though not a formal requirement, party membership is virtually a de facto prerequisite for high-level official positions and professional advancement in most areas, although non-party members are sometimes allowed to serve in the National Assembly.

Source: U.S. Department of State

覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧
Courts & Judgments

The Cuban Constitution provides for independent courts; however, it explicitly subordinates the courts to the National Assembly and the Council of State. The National Assembly and its lower level counterparts choose all judges.

Civil courts exist at municipal, provincial, and supreme court levels. Panels composed of a mix of professionally certified and lay judges preside over them. Military tribunals assume jurisdiction for certain counterrevolutionary cases. The People's Supreme Court is the highest judicial body.

Source: U.S. Department of State

覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧
Human Rights

The Cuban Government's human rights record remained poor in 2001. The Government continued to violate systematically the fundamental civil and political rights of its citizens. Citizens do not have the right to change their government peacefully. Prisoners died in jail due to lack of medical care. Members of the security forces and prison officials continued to beat and otherwise abuse detainees and prisoners, including human rights activists. The Government failed to prosecute or sanction adequately members of the security forces and prison guards who committed abuses. Prison conditions remained harsh and life threatening. The authorities routinely continued to harass, threaten, arbitrarily arrest, detain, imprison, and defame human rights advocates and members of independent professional associations, including journalists, economists, doctors, and lawyers, often with the goal of coercing them into leaving the country. The Government used internal and external exile against such persons, and it offered political prisoners the choice of exile or continued imprisonment. The Government denied political dissidents and human rights advocates due process and subjected them to unfair trials. The Government infringed on citizens' privacy rights. The Government denied citizens the freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and association. It limited the distribution of foreign publications and news, reserving them for selected faithful party members, and maintained strict censorship of news and information to the public. The Government restricted some religious activities but permitted others. The Government limited the entry of religious workers to the country. The Government maintained tight restrictions on freedom of movement, including foreign travel and did not allow some citizens to leave the country. The Government was sharply and publicly antagonistic to all criticism of its human rights practices and discouraged foreign contacts with human rights activists. Violence against women, especially domestic violence, and child prostitution were problems. Racial discrimination was a problem. The Government severely restricted worker rights, including the right to form independent unions. The Government prohibits forced and bonded labor by children; however, it required children to do farm work without compensation.

Source: U.S. Department of State

———————————————————————
Legal Profession 覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧
Law Schools

HAVANA LIVE
CUBA NEWS
GRANMA | RADIO HAVANA