Durand and Ugarte v. Peru

Key Judgment


Legal Relevance

Keywords: Judicial Protection | Juridical Personality | Effective Remedy

Themes: Justice and Truth

The Court found that although the suspension of judicial protection and guarantees in place during the state of emergency did not explicitly ban recourse to habeas corpus - this having been the ideal avenue for the victims' relatives to establish their whereabouts - the form and substance of these suspensions caused the recourse to habeas corpus to be inefficient. It also condemned the use of military courts to try the events of the prison riot, and found that military jurisdiction must be restrictive and exceptional in scope, limited to offences that concern the military order. In trying the events, the military courts lacked the required independence and impartiality, meaning there was no effective remedy recourse available.

Judgment Date

August 16, 2000

Country

Peru

Judicial Body

Inter-American Court of Human Rights

Articles violated

Article 1(1) [ACHR], Article 2 [ACHR], Article 4(1) [ACHR], Article 7(1) [ACHR], Article 7(5) [ACHR], Article 7(6) [ACHR], Article 8(1) [ACHR], Article 25(1) [ACHR], Article 27(2) [ACHR]

Articles not violated / not dealt with

Article 5(2) [ACHR]

Facts of the Case

In February 1986, Mr. Nolberto Durand Ugarte and Mr. Gabriel Pablo Ugarte Rivera were arrested by members of the Department Against Terrorism ("DIRCOTE") in Peru, for allegedly being involved in acts of terrorism. The following month, both were transferred to the island prison of "El Frontón". In June, a riot broke out and operations by the armed forces were launched, during which the forces used excessive force and, as a result of which, many were killed and/or injured. The riot took place during a state of emergency in the region where the prison was located. Following the riots, the bodies of neither victim was found and their fate or whereabouts were not established.

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