Letter to the OECD regarding the Implementation of Peru Country Program during the visit of President Kuczynski to París

Press release
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Mr. Angel Gurria
Secretary General
Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development, OECD

París, June 7, 2017

Ref. Follow-up to the OECD Country Programme in Peru, on the issue of strengthening governance of the judiciary.

Dear Mr. Angel Gurria,

The International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) and our member organization in Peru, the Center for Public Policy and Human Rights - Peru EQUIDAD, extend to you their warmest greetings.

FIDH is an international non-governmental organization whose objective is to promote the realization of all human rights recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. FIDH is an international NGO committed to the defense of human rights. It federates 184 organizations in more than 100 countries, and benefits from consultative status with the United Nations, OAS, UNESCO and Council of Europe, and is an observer before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Peru EQUIDAD is a non-governmental organization that works for the harmonization of public policies in Peru in accordance with the obligations the State has sovereignly accepted through formal ratification of international human rights treaties.

Through this communication, our organizations would like to highlight the existing gaps in the governance of the judiciary in Peru as one of the main challenges to overcome in the implementation of the Country Program, concluded between the OECD and the Peruvian State on December 8, 2014. We would also like to make specific recommendations to ensure this Program can effectively contribute to strengthening the rule of law, the administration of justice and the fight against impunity, especially concerning violations of economic, social and cultural rights.

In its Multidimensional Review on Peru of 2015 [1], the OECD highlighted the need to enhance governance in the judiciary and therefore recommended the Peruvian government to improve effectiveness in courts to ensure the enforcement of laws and regulations, in order to prevent impunity [2]. For our organizations, one of the fundamental steps to achieve this goal is to ensure the prompt and effective execution of the decisions of Peruvian courts - particularly those of the Supreme Court and the Constitutional Court - and those arising from international courts whose competence has been voluntarily accepted by the State of Peru [3]. Failure to comply with these resolutions contravenes the right to judicial protection, essential and universal pillar of the rule of law.

The lack of enforcement of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights´ (IACHR) decisions is a matter of great concern in the Peruvian context, since this country holds the sad record for being one of the countries that has received the highest convictions in Latin America, with several of these convictions specifically referring to Peru’s failure to comply with the judgments of its highest courts [4]. The Acevedo Buendía Case (discharged and retired employees of the Comptroller’s Office) v. Peru, - resulting from the violation of the right of property of almost three hundred retirees in Peru - eloquently exemplifies the seriousness of this situation. In this case, the IACHR stated that the extended and unjustified failure to comply with the judicial decisions of the Constitutional Court of Peru, which ordered the restitution of the pensions of 273 members of the Association of Discharged and Retired Employees of the Comptroller General of the Republic, confiscated for more than 8 years, constituted a violation of the right to property and to judicial protection (Article 21 and 25 of the American Convention on Human Rights) [5], and ordered the Peruvian State to "fully comply with the judgments of the Constitutional Court of Peru of October 1997 and January 26, 2001, within a reasonable time ".

Although eight (8) years have elapsed since this judgment of the most important Court in the American Continent, and twenty (20) and ten (10) years respectively since the Constitutional Court of Peru ruled in favor of the victims, the Peruvian State has not complied with the decision invoking all kinds of reasons, including alleged budgetary difficulties. The IACHR has rejected this argument, stating that "budget regulations may not be used as an excuse for many years of delay in complying with the judgments.” [6]

In view of the above, and bearing in mind that the establishment of a strong and effective judiciary that guarantees the protection of all human rights and provides reparation to victims is the fundamental basis for a sustainable development that effectively improves citizens life conditions, FIDH and Peru EQUIDAD call on the OECD to consider the compliance with the decisions of international jurisdictions for the protection of human rights as a fundamental element of the Country Program and a requirement to advance in the implementation of any other development policy. Otherwise, the implementation of new investment, trade and development policies could generate significant risks for the local population, since the ineffectiveness of the judicial system and lack of implementation of international courts’ rulings leave them completely unprotected.

In this regard, our organizations recommend to the OECD, and in particular the OECD Development Center:

1. To introduce an indicator to measure effective implementation of the judgments of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the framework of the evaluation of the Country Program regarding effective governance and capacity building of judicial institutions;

2. To monitor the implementation of judgments of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Peru and include an analysis of the results in the next evaluation of Peru´s Country Program;

3. To open spaces for the participation of civil society organizations so that they can contribute to the monitoring of these indicators and to the analysis of possible advances or new challenges in this area.

We appreciate the attention you give to this communication and we will be at your disposal to provide any additional information in this regard.

Sincerely yours,

Signed by:
 Perú Equidad

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