Press Release

IACHR Seeks Advisory Opinion from Inter-American Court on Concept of Impeachment

October 13, 2017

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Washington, D.C. - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) sent the Inter-American Court of Human Rights a request for an advisory opinion, as established in Article 64(1) of the American Convention on Human Rights.

Through this request, sent on October 13, 2017, the Commission seeks to shed light on and obtain an interpretation of the concept of impeachment to remove democratically and constitutionally elected presidents from office. The requested interpretation includes the scope of applicability of due process guarantees, the principle of freedom from ex post facto laws, and the right to judicial protection in such contexts. It also includes the implications that impeachments could have in terms of the exercise of political rights, from both the individual standpoint of the person affected as well as the collective dimension of those who chose a leader by exercising their right to vote.

The Commission considers that this request will have a positive impact on the development of inter-American jurisprudence on the close relationship between the validity of democratic institutions and the full enjoyment and exercise of human rights.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and to defend human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 161/17