Jurisprudence Database


The Jurisprudence Database sets out leading judgments and commentary by international and domestic legal mechanisms in the field of enforced disappearances. It summarises factual and legal findings and identifies common themes and search terms allowing for a comparative cross-jurisdictional analysis of this area of law. Users can search the source bank through a filter-based or key-term search and access text in English, Spanish, Russian and French.

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Case Decision Year

Keywords

Key Judgment

Types of Source

Authority

Themes

Augusto Pinochet Ugarte et al.

The Court found the agents of the National Intelligence working in the barracks where the victims were detained responsible for the crime of "qualified kidnapping", comprised of both the apprehension and placing them in detention. The Court found different levels of responsibility between the accused, distinguishing between immediate authors, mediate authors and co-authors. The Court confirmed that the events constituted crimes against humanity as they were committed in a context of systematic or widespread attack against the civilian population, where multiple agencies were executed repressive functions against political opponents. The Court referred to a number of international treaties with provisions on ...click to read more

Key Judgment

Judgment Date

March 2, 2023

Country

Chile

Judicial Body

Chile - Supreme Court

Theme

Characteristics of the Crime, Memory and Reparations, Persons and Groups Affected

Crimes Against Humanity | Deprivation of Liberty | Systemic Practice | Punishment | Reparations | Statute of Limitations

Román Jaimes v. Mexico

The Committee reiterated that disappearances of women are one of the most brutal manifestations of gender-based violence, emphasising that disappeared women suffer particular types of harm because of their gender and are disproportionately subjected to sexual violence and other forms of gender-based violence. In light of the pattern of disappearances of women and the prevailing impunity in the relevant area, and taking into account the information suggesting that persons linked to criminal organisations benefited from the authorisation, support, acquiescence or omissions of the State, the Committee found the State responsible for the victim's alleged enforced disappearance. This was due to ...click to read more

Key Judgment

Judgment Date

October 24, 2022

Country

Mexico

Judicial Body

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women

Theme

Characteristics of the Crime, Persons and Groups Affected, Prevention

Women and Girls | Deprivation of Liberty | Systemic Practice | State/Non-State Agents | Duty to Investigate | Duty to Prosecute | Obligation to Prevent

Amparo en Revisión 51/2020

The decision recognises the severity of enforced disappearance as a crime and a human rights violation for both the victims and their relatives, which therefore requires prevention. Further, on the right to truth, the amparo reiterated victims' right to be searched for using different approaches. Finally, it established criteria for the judicial actors responsible for amparo proceedings to meet the reduced standard of proof in the definition of enforced disappearances and determined that these authorities can impose reparation.

Key Judgment

Judgment Date

August 10, 2022

Country

Mexico

Judicial Body

Mexico - Supreme Court

Theme

Search, Justice and Truth

Effective Remedy | Reparations | Right to Know the Truth

Amparo en Revisión 1077/2019

The Supreme Court ruled that State authorities at the federal and the state levels are, under both judicial and constitutional control, obliged to comply with the content of urgent actions issued by the United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances. The decision further recognises the right of every person to be searched for.

Key Judgment

Judgment Date

July 12, 2021

Country

Mexico

Judicial Body

Mexico - Supreme Court

Theme

Justice and Truth, Search

Right to Know the Truth | Effective Remedy

Arce Gomez et al.

The Court found the accused guilty for their complicity in aggravated murder, which was characterised by the illegal deprivation of the victims' freedom and by their death as a foreseeable consequence of the deprivation. It also found those who participated in the initial kidnapping responsible for the murder. Taking into account that all of the perpetrators were part of an elite that held roles within the intelligence services with decision-making power, the Court held that they were aware of the objectives pursued by their superiors and that they contributed to achieving the results of those objectives by identifying people to ...click to read more

Judgment Date

July 9, 2021

Country

Italy

Judicial Body

Italy - Court of Cassation

Theme

Characteristics of the Crime, Persons and Groups Affected, Related Crimes

Deprivation of Liberty | Systemic Practice

Guidelines to prevent and address intimidation and reprisals against individuals and groups cooperating with the Committee

The guidelines aim to prevent and address intimidation and reprisals against individuals and groups cooperating with the Committee on Enforced Disappearances. It clarifies the mandate of the Rapporteur on reprisals, including the adoption of protection measures, and the procedure for reporting allegations of intimidation or reprisals.

Key Judgment

Judgment Date

April 20, 2021

Country

Universal

Judicial Body

Committee on Enforced Disappearances

Theme

Characteristics of the Crime

Interim/Urgent Measures

Follow-up report on individual communications – Yrusta v. Argentina (2)

The Committee concluded that the measures taken by the state party do not amount to a satisfactory implementation of the recommendations contained in its Views and reiterated in the follow-up procedure.

Key Judgment

Judgment Date

September 25, 2020

Country

Argentina

Judicial Body

Committee on Enforced Disappearances

Theme

Justice and Truth

Duty to Investigate | Duty to Prosecute | Guarantees of Non-Repetition

E.L.A. v. France

The Committee clarified that the risk of enforced disappearance at the country of origin/return should be linked to the personal circumstances of the applicant, as well as the general context of enforced disappearance in the respective country. The risk of enforced disappearance following return must be examined by the domestic courts in a comprehensive manner. A mere acknowledgment of the applicant’s arguments and a simple confirmation of the lower court’s findings does not satisfy this requirement.

Key Judgment

Judgment Date

September 25, 2020

Country

France

Judicial Body

Committee on Enforced Disappearances

Theme

Characteristics of the Crime, Persons and Groups Affected

Refugees and Migrants | Extraterritorial Jurisdiction | Admissibility

Key guidelines on enforced disappearances in the context of COVID-19

The Committee and the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances recall that enforced disappearance is prohibited in all circumstances. They developed eight key guidelines to assist Member States to continue to respect their international obligations in the context of COVID-19 pandemic.

Key Judgment

Judgment Date

September 18, 2020

Country

Universal

Judicial Body

Committee on Enforced Disappearances

Theme

Search

Effective Remedy | Children/Youth | Refugees and Migrants

Contradicción de Tesis 261/2018

Given that an enforced disappearance may be executed in more than one district, or may even begin to be executed in one, and continue in another, the Supreme Court concluded that amparo claims may be filed before any federal judge, and must be dealt with. The Supreme Court ruled that State authorities, both at the federal and the state levels, are, under judicial and constitutional control, obliged to comply with the content of urgent actions issued by the United Nations Committee on Enforced Disappearances. The decision further recognises the right of every person to be searched for.

Key Judgment

Judgment Date

January 7, 2020

Country

Mexico

Judicial Body

Mexico - Supreme Court

Theme

Justice and Truth, Search

Right to Know the Truth | Effective Remedy