Amicus Curiae Presented to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights: In the Case Allan R. Brewer Carías vs. The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
36 Pages Posted: 9 Oct 2013
Date Written: August 21, 2013
Leo Zwaak, Diana Contreras-Garduño, Annick Pijnenburg, Lubomira Kostova and Tomas Königs, on behalf of the Netherlands Institute of Human Rights (SIM), presented an amicus curiae brief before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the case of Allan R. Brewer Carías v. the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela later this year. This case was submitted to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in January 2007 by the legal representatives of Mr. Brewer: Pedro Nikken, Hélio Bicudo, Claudio Grossman, Juan E. Méndez, Douglas Cassel, and Héctor Faúndez Ledesma. The case concerns the criminal proceedings started against Mr. Brewer, an internationally renowned constitutional law professor, for his alleged involvement in an attempted coup d’Etat in Venezuela in April 2002. It raises important issues in terms of the lack of judicial guarantees and judicial protection in the criminal proceedings brought against Mr. Brewer as well as the freedom of expression of legal professionals. The relevance of this case lies in the fact that violations of fair trial rights by any State pose grave threats to the protection of human rights because it prevents individuals to fully enjoy access to justice and hence, of remedies. Additionally, freedom of expression has an important place in the case because individuals wishing to express their opinion, especially when such opinion is based on purely professional advice, should be able to do so without facing criminal charges.
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