Universal Jurisdiction to judge serious human rights violations.
Under the criminal law scope, the locus regit actumprinciple governs (the place governs the act): the territory where a fact has been carried out is the one that determines the competence of the court to judge the fact. However, in countries where human rights are systematically violated or crimes against humanity are committed, the risk of going unpunished is present.
International justice offers various mechanisms for the application of fair processes: international courts or internationalized courts, such as the International Criminal Court, to investigate, prosecute, punish or acquit, if necessary, to avoid impunity in crimes against humanity. But there is also the principle of universal jurisdiction: the extraterritorial application of justice to hear cases that, beyond the impact it generates on the victim or in the territory where it is committed, the international community sees the case as large crimes that transgresses the international order, such as crimes of terrorism, drug trafficking, humanity or serious violations of human rights.
The HRI for Peace and freedom, applying the principle of universality of human rights, the principle of legal certainty and the principle of complementarity, joins the efforts of the application of universal jurisdiction for the defense of victims of grave violations of human rights or war crimes, as universal victims of a pattern of systematic behavior, aimed at a civilian population and with the aspiration to maintain power by way of force.
Victim Defense before the International Criminal Court: Venezuela.
As of 2014, the government of Nicolás Maduro has been committing crimes against humanity under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court (ICC). The president of the HRI for Peace and Freedom, lawyer Juan Carlos Gutiérrez, began a course of action before the ICC in 2015 to report these facts. At the end of 2018, 6 countries of the American continent (Argentina, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Peru), proceeded before the ICC referring to the acts of the Venezuelan government. All this has resulted in the ICC Prosecutor ordering a preliminary examination of the ordered facts acts executed by Maduro government officials and determining crimes against humanity that occurred in Venezuela that reports more than 20,000 direct and family victims, among executions extrajudicial, torture, cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment and arbitrary detention.
Figures from non-governmental organizations, research institutes and academics, among others, indicate that have registered until 2018:
- more than 8,292 extrajudicial executions;
- more than 289 cases of torture;
- more than 12,000 acts of arbitrary detentions.
“HRI for Peace and Freedom”, assumes the responsibility of continuing the complaints and is currently working on the preparation to present to the ICC, a document called “Evidence and Formulation of arguments and evidence” containing all the material demonstrating the crimes committed under the command and direction of Nicolás Maduro.
- Individualise on a case-by-case basis of each of the victims by the acts committed under the direction of Nicolás Maduro.
- Establish the causality relationship between government actors and the crimes against humanity reported.