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Supreme Court, In Rare Move, Denounces Violence vs Lawyers, Judges

Attack on rule of law.
Mar 23, 2021
Photo/s: Mike Gonzales / Wikimedia Commons
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The Supreme Court, in an extraordinary move, spoke out against violence directed at lawyers and judges, saying such attacks amounted to an assault on the rule of law.

The high tribunal cited the threats directed against oppositors to the Anti-Terrorism Law and the red-tagging of a judge who ordered the release of an activist. "This cannot be allowed in a civilized society like ours. This cannot go undenounced on the Court's watch," it said.

"In this light, the Court condems in the strongest sense, every instance where a lawyer is threatened or killed, and where a judge is threatened or unfairly labeled," it said.

"We do not and will not tolerate such acts that only perverse justice, defeat the rule of law, undermine the most basic of constitutional principles and speculate on the worth of human lives," it said.

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The Supreme Court said it was taking the following courses of action:

  • Asked court and law enoforcement agencies for information on all cases of threats and killings of lawyers and judges in the last 10 years.
  • Work on and deliberate on rules for the use of body cameras in the service of arrest warrants.
  • Investigate the display of a tarpaulin that likened one judge to communist rebels.
  • Convert all letters to the court on specific threats to petitions for amparo or habeas data. These are legal remedies available at the SC for those who are under threat.
  • Coordinate with civil society, concerned groups and law enforcers.
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