Death Penalty Case

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  • Topic: Human rights, Organization of American States, Inter-American Court of Human Rights
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Restrictions to the Death Penalty (Arts. 4(2) and 4(4) of the American Convention on Human Rights), Advisory Opinion OC-3/83, September 8, 1983, Inter-Am. Ct. H.R. (Ser. A) No. 3 (1983).

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Concurring opinion of Judge Piza
Concurring opinion of Judge Reina

Requested by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
Present:
Pedro Nikken, President
Thomas Buergenthal, Vice President
Huntley Eugene Munroe, Judge
Máximo Cisneros, Judge
Carlos Roberto Reina, Judge
Rodolfo E. Piza E., Judge
Rafael Nieto Navia, Judge
Also present:
Charles Moyer, Secretary
Manuel Ventura, Deputy Secretary
THE COURT, composed as above, gives the following Advisory Opinion: 1. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights ( hereinafter cited as Commission ), by telex dated April 15, 1983, communicated its decision to submit to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights ( hereinafter cited as Court ) a request for an advisory opinion on the interpretation of the last sentence of Article 4( 2 ) of the American Convention on Human Rights ( hereinafter cited as Convention ). The text of the request was received in the Secretariat of the Court on April 25, 1983. 2. By notes dated April 27 and May 12, 1983 the Secretariat, acting pursuant to Article 52 of the Rules of Procedure of the Court ( hereinafter cited as Rules of Procedure ), requested written observations on the different matters involved in the instant proceeding from the Member States of the Organization of American States ( hereinafter cited as OAS ) as well as, through the Secretary General, from the organs referred to in Chapter X of the Charter of the OAS that might have an interest in the matter. 3. The President of the Court fixed July 1, 1983 as the deadline for the submission of written observations or other relevant documents. 4. Responses to the Secretariat's communications were received from the following States: Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador and Guatemala. In addition, the following OAS organs responded: the Permanent Council, the General Secretariat and the Inter-American Juridical Committee. A majority of the responses included substantive observations on the issues raised in the request. Even though the observations submitted by the Governments of Costa Rica, Ecuador and E1 Salvador were received in the Secretariat after the deadline fixed by the President, the Court decided to consider them and to include them in the file of the case, given the purpose that these observations have in advisory proceedings. 5. Furthermore, the following organizations submitted their points of view on the request as amici curiae: the International Human Rights Law Group & the Washington Office on Latin America; the Lawyers Committee for International Human Rights & the Americas Watch Committee; and the Institute for Human Rights of the International Legal Studies Program at the University of Denver College of Law & the Urban Morgan Institute for Human Rights of the University of Cincinnati College of Law. 6. A public hearing was set for Tuesday, July 26, 1983, to enable the Court to hear, during its Third Special Session, the oral arguments of the Member States and the organs of the OAS bearing on the advisory opinion request and on the objections to the Court's jurisdiction filed by the Government of Guatemala. 7. At the public hearing, the Court heard from the following representatives: For the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights:

Luis Demetrio Tinoco Castro, Delegate and First Vice President Marco Gerardo Monroy Cabra, Delegate and ex-President For Guatemala:
Edgar Sarceño Morgan, Agent and Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Mario Marroquín Nájera, Adviser and Director General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs For Costa Rica:

Carlos Jose Gutiérrez, Agent and Minister of Justice Manuel Freer Jiménez,...
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