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RED VZLA Urgent Request to the OTP-3

REDACTED Page 100 of 190 Despite a constitutional requirement that a code of ethics and disciplinary tribunal for judges be established before 2001, it took over ten years to implement this. The constitutional branch of the Supreme Tribunal then suspended several articles of the code, exempting Supreme Tribunal judges from its provisions and ensuring that provisional judges remained subject to instant dismissal.410 The Supreme Tribunal answers to the Executive Branch and in particular the President who has been denounced by former judges to have the capacity to hold regular meetings with the judges to give them directions on the outcome of their adjudications. In April 2012, the former head of the criminal chamber of the Supreme Tribunal of Justice, Eladio Aponte, claimed that sensitive judicial cases were subject to instructions given at weekly meetings held at the offices of the vice president of the republic.411 This claim finds support in a recent publication. A thorough and independent study by Venezuelan scholars concluded that from 2005 to 2013, the Supreme Tribunal did not rule against the government in one single case.412 The authors argue that the pattern did not change during 2014.413 This is further confirmed by the fact that some prominent members of the judiciary openly reject the principle of separation of powers414 taking a political stance in relation Annual Report 2004. Inter-American Commission of Human Rights. [Online] Available from: spanish/T2%20ST02%20N2%20Fragmento%20informe%20CIDH%20jueces%20prov.pdf [Accessed 25 October, 2015] 410 INTERNATIONAL CRISIS GROUP. (2014) Venezuela: Tipping Point. p.14. ABA. (2013) Trial Observation Report: the Case of María Lourdes Afiuni. American Bar Association Center for Human Rights. [Online] December. Available from: afiuni.authcheckdam.pdf [Accessed 25 October, 2015]; See also: IACHR. (2012) Annual Report 2012. Inter-American Commission for Human Rights. [Online] Available from: [Accessed 25 October, 2015] Chapter IV 411 DE LA ROSA, A. (2012) Presentan carta confesión de Aponte sobre montaje del caso 11A. El Universal. [Online] 13 September. Available from: politica/120913/presentan-carta-confesion-de-aponte-aponte-sobre-montaje-del-caso-11a [Accessed 25 October, 2015] 412 GONZÁLEZ, A.C. et. al. (2015) El Tribunal Supremo de Justicia al Servicio de la Revolución; MEZA, A. (2014) El chavismo nunca pierde en el Supremo venezolano. El Pais. [Online] 12 December. Available from: [Accessed 25 October, 2015]; LÓPEZ. E (2014) En nueve años el TSJ no ha dictado ni una sentencia contra el gobierno. El Nacional. [Online] 1 December. Available from: http://www.el- [Accessed 25 October, 2015] 413 LÓPEZ. E (2014) En nueve años el TSJ no ha dictado ni una sentencia contra el gobierno 414 Luisa Estella Morales, then head of the TSJ, argued in an interview with Venezolana de Televisión (December 2009) that the “separation of powers […] weakens the state”. ALONSO, J.F. (2009) Morales: ‘La división de poderes debilita al Estado.’ El Universal, [Online] 5 December. Available from:

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