Concluding observations of the Committee against Torture : Peru. 05/21/1998.
A/53/44,paras.197-205. (Concluding Observations/Comments)

Convention Abbreviation: CAT
Twentieth session
4 - 22 May 1998

Concluding observations of the Committee against Torture


197. The Committee considered the second periodic report of Peru (CAT/C/20/Add.6) at its 330th, 331st and 333rd meetings, held on 12 and 13 May 1998 (see CAT/C/SR.330, 331 and 333), and adopted the following conclusions and recommendations.

1. Introduction

198. The Committee welcomes the submission of the second periodic report of Peru which, despite the six year delay, nonetheless reflects the manifest wish of the State party to maintain dialogue.

199. The Committee also appreciates the fact that the size, quality and highly representative nature of the delegation of Peru is proof of the State party’s interest in the work of the Committee.

2. Positive aspects

200. The Committee notes the following positive aspects.

(a) Peru’s willingness to give effect to the recommendations that the Committee put forward during the consideration of the State party’s initial report;

(b) The abolition of the “faceless judges” system;

(c) The introduction into Peruvian legislation of a definition of torture consistent with the provisions of article 1 of the Convention;

(d) The planned or actual reforms announced by the Minister of Justice, who headed the delegation of Peru, and which are designed to improve the human rights situation in the framework of the fight against terrorist violence and to reaffirm the independence of the judiciary.

3. Factors and difficulties impeding the application of the
provisions of the Convention

201. The Committee finds no factors or difficulties impeding the effective application of the Convention by Peru.

4. Subjects of concern

202. The Committee is concerned about the following:

(a) The frequent and numerous allegations of torture;

(b) The maintenance of the competence of military courts to try civilians;

(c) The excessive role still assigned to military courts at the expense of civil courts;

(d) The laws passed between 1995 and 1998, which arguably seem designed as a renewed challenge to the independence of the judiciary:

(e) The maintenance of emergency legislation hardly conducive to respect for human rights in general and the elimination of torture in particular.

5. Recommendations

203. While noting and welcoming the new measures that have been taken or announced, including some which are in the spirit of the recommendations made during the consideration of Peru’s initial report, the Committee reiterates those recommendations and calls upon the State party to expedite reforms designed to establish a State genuinely founded upon the rule of law.

204. The State party should consider repealing laws which may undermine the independence of the judiciary, and take account of the fact that, in this area, the competent authority with regard to the selection and careers of judges should be independent of the Government and the administration. To guarantee such independence, measures should be taken to ensure, for example, that the members of that authority are appointed by the judiciary and that the authority itself decides on its rules of procedure.

205. The State party should consider, pursuant to articles 6, 11, 12, 13 and 14 of the Convention, taking measures to ensure that victims of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, and their legal successors, receive redress, compensation and rehabilitation in all circumstances.

Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Geneva, Switzerland