Red justice in numbers

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If you're coming to challenge the State, don't even bother...
If you’re here to challenge the State, don’t even bother…

The Venezuelan Judiciary has become a rubber stamp of the Executive Branch. But now we have the truth in cold, hard numbers…

Four Venezuelan lawyers went to work proving this. Their results are published in an upcoming book titled “The TSJ, at the Revolution’s service.” Basically, they looked at 45,474 decisions of three halls of the Supreme Court (the all-powerful Constitutional, plus the Electoral and Political-Administrative Halls) from the last nine years (2004-2013) and made a statistical analysis.

What did they find? El Nacional’s journalist Edgar Lopez talked to them, and their effort can be summarized in one simple sentence: In all these years, the TSJ has never ruled against the government.

Here’s a summary of some of their main findings, unsurprising at best:

  • The Constitutional Hall has never ruled against the President for violating constitutional rights. Neither have they made any decision against any legislation that widens the government’s power, and/or criminalizes the opposition.
  • The Political-Administrative Hall has never called into question the government’s use of expropiations, controls and other administrative acts. Matter of fact, they don’t want the government to be accountable to citizens.
  • The Electoral Hall went in Chavismo’s favor in eight out of nine cases in which it was involved.
  • There was a pattern in which every time the Executive announced something, the TSJ gave it legal clearance weeks later. The investigators found this happening in at least 55 cases related to very important issues.
  • Only on two occasions did the TSJ overrule actions from the government, but mostly related to minor issues (port administration and the powers of the General Attorney of the Republic, or Procuradoria General de la Republica).

But the lack of judicial independence isn’t being called out just from home: The UN’s Torture Commitee expressed its concern over this in its latest evaluation of Venezuela. It also complained over the role of the People’s Ombudsman.

1 COMMENT

  1. There is no rule of law in Venezuela , Laws are interpreted and applied to suit the interests of the Regime and not to serve justice. They are a vehicle of partisan persecution . This study offers proof that this is the case . Something we didnt need the study to tell us, but which might prove useful to help people abroad undertand the nature of this regime and act accordingly.

    In US Court cases the point have been made by the victims of the regimes measures that there is no rule of law in Venezuela and that therefore they should be allowed to seek justice in the US , Many courts have allowed the argument because the proof is so conclusive . This will just make it easier for them .

  2. Excelllent work! And now, every press report on every TSJ decision should include a line such as “The decision was expected, given that the Court never rules against the government.”

  3. This is proof that rule of law is dead in Venezuela, for anyone who thought it might be just comatose. The question for the régime might be: why have courts at all? These are just functionaries who take orders and publish them.

  4. Rule of law, rule of free speech, rule of economic independence, rule of protest and free gathering, rule of whatever might go opposite to the government interests of completely controlling the population and on and on and on

  5. Am preparing for a court case in Canada against a company with very, very red connections in Venezuela. Part of the defense of this company will be based on jurisdiction and demanding that the venue be Venezuela instead of Canada.

    We, of course are claiming that as foreigners, we can never trust the Venezuelan justice system to rule in our favour or even to hear our case. This brings me to my question, can Caracas Chronicles readers point me to any available example of a rojo rojita connected Venezuelan being sued in Venezuela by a Venezuelan or a foreigner where the judgement went against them? Are there any cases?

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