Looking to the future

The five key areas of reform needed are as follows:

  • Presumption of innocence - The basic human right, Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat - innocent until proven guilty - must be established and upheld in Colombia
  • Regulation of preventative detention - New legislative measures must be adopted for pre-trial (preventative) detention to ensure the protection of human rights through the application of international standards and norms
  • Independence - Columbia must establish judicial independence from politics and the media and introduce transparent disciplinary system for judicial personnel
  • Efficiency - The administration of justice must be developed to improve court administration and day to day case management and improve the legal education of judges and lawyers
  • Access - The understanding of the general public must be improved through programmes that foster public awareness of rights and obligations once one avails oneself of the courts. New channels should be created to ensure public access to justice through legal aid programmes so that sectors of society currently excluded have access to justice

Reform focussed on these areas should result in:

  • Just, consistent and relatively predicable decisions
  • An end to mistaken and unjustified imprisonment
  • Reasonable time for the dispensation of cases
  • Access to courts for the population irrespective of income
Political prisoner