University of Minnesota

CDH-CP17/99 English





The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (hereinafter “the Court” or the “Inter-American Court”) during its XLVI Regular Session at its seat in San José, Costa Rica, from November 9 to 20, 1999, issued a resolution on the compliance by the State of Peru with the judgment on the Court’s ruling on the merits of the Case Castillo Petruzzi et al. against Peru, on November 17, 1999.


On June 15, 1999, the State of Peru informed the Court that on June 11, 1999, the Plenary Court of the Supreme Council of Military Justice determined that the May 30, 1999 judgment of the Court on the merits of this case, “lacks impartiality and infringes upon the Political Constitution of the State, making it impossible to execute.”

On November 17, 1999, the Court passed judgment in which it considered that:

1. On June 11, 1999 the Plenary Court of the Supreme Council of Military Justice issued a resolution which declared the inability to execute this Court’s judgment.

2. Article 67 of the American Convention on Human Rights establishes that “the judgment of the Court shall be final and not subject to appeal. In case of disagreement as to the meaning or scope of the judgment, the Court shall interpret it at the request of any of the parties, provided the request is made within ninety days from the date of notification of the judgment.”

3. Article 68(1) of the American Convention on Human Rights stipulates that “the State Parties to the Convention undertake to comply with the judgment of the Court in any case to which they are parties.” The duties of the State Parties under the Convention bind all the actions and organs of the State.

4. This obligation corresponds to the basic principle of law of international responsibility of the State, which is supported by international jurisprudence and according to which the States must comply with their obligations under the Convention in good faith (pacta sunt servanda). As the Court has pointed out, the States cannot, for reasons based on their internal order, fail to assume their already established international responsibility (cr. International Responsibility for the Issuance and Application of Laws Violating the Convention (arts. 1 and 2 American Convention on Human Rights), Advisory Opinion OC-14/94, December 9, 1994, Series A No. 14, par. 35).

5. In this regard, Article 27 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties of 1969 codifies a basic principle of international law as it cautions that

[A party may not invoke the provisions of its internal law as a justification for its failure to perform a treaty.[...]

6. By virtue of the definite and unappealable character of the judgments of the Court, such should be promptly and fully complied with by the State.

and decided:

1. To declare that, in agreement with the basic principle of pacta sunt servanda and in conformity with that which Article 68(1) of the American Convention on Human Rights sets forth, the State has the duty to promptly comply with the judgment issued by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the Castillo Petruzzi et al. Case, on May 30, 1999.

2. To notify the State, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and the representatives of the victims of the present resolution.

The composition of the Court during this Regular Session is the following: Antônio A. Cançado Trindade (Brazil), President; Maximo Pacheco-Gomez (Chile), Vice-President; Hernan Salgado-Pesantes (Ecuador); Oliver Jackman (Barbados); Alirio Abreu-Burelli (Venezuela) and Carlos Vicente de Roux-Rengifo (Colombia). The Secretary of the Court is Manuel E. Ventura-Robles and the Deputy Secretary, Renzo Pomi.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights is an autonomous judicial institution of the Organization of American States, formally established in 1979. It is formed by jurists of the highest moral standing and competence in the area of Human Rights. The Judges are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and cannot exercise their functions for more than two six year terms.

For further information, please address all requests to:

Manuel E. Ventura-Robles

Secretary, Inter-American Court of Human Rights

P.O. Box 6906-1000

San Jose, Costa Rica

Telephone: (506) 234-0581, Fax: (506) 234-0584


San Jose, November 17, 1999.

Pies de página / Footnotes

(*) El contenido de este comunicado es responsabilidad de la Secretaría de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos. El texto oficial de los documentos reseñados puede obtenerse mediante solicitud escrita dirigida a la Secretaría, en la dirección que se adjunta.

(*) The contents of this release are the responsibility of the Secretariat of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The official text of the documents may be obtained by submitting a written request to the Secretariat at the address provided at the end of this document.



Home || Treaties || Search || Links