June 18, 2004

Good friends in the right places..


Human Right Watch said Thursday that the new Law of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice of Venezuela is a clear evidence that the country's judicial system is not independent.

The organization's Americas Division Director José Miguel Vivanco underlined that Venezuela's current government has an enormous responsibility in the weakening of the autonomy and independence of the Judicial Power in the country.

Vivanco said that during his organization's investigations in Venezuela in May last year, the president of the TSJ, the Attorney General and a pro-government legislator tried to calm his concern about the poor independence of the judges.

"(They) insisted that those who have authority on the judges and magistrates demonstrate moderation and respect for the rule of law. However, this is totally irrelevant because a State that depends on the good will and self-control of those who exercise power is not truly a state of law," he said.