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UN rights expert urges Guatemala to guarantee judicial independence
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UN rights expert urges Guatemala to guarantee judicial independence

The UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers on Thursday urged [press release] Guatemala to “adopt all necessary measures to fully ensure that judges and magistrates perform their duties with full independence and guarantees.”

The UN Special Rapporteur specifically referenced the government’s refusal to allow the head of the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) into the country despite the Constitutional Court’s order [JURIST report], stating that “[p]ublic announcements that the Government may not comply with the Constitutional Court’s decision … would severely weaken the rule of law and the power of constitutional justice.” The expert expressed concern over attacks and acts of intimidation against judges in the Constitutional Court, stating that such attacks “not only seriously endanger the security and physical safety of judges and their relatives, but also weaken the justice system.”

The expert stressed that “respect, guarantees of independence, and an impartial justice system, were essential to Guatemala’s fight against impunity and corruption.”