Vance Center Publishes Manual for International Protection of Judicial Independence

April 2023

The Vance Center, in partnership with the Central American Federation of Judges for Democracy (FECAJUD), this month published a “Manual for International Protection of Judicial Independence for Judges,” as part of a project to strengthen the judiciary in Central America supported by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). 

The manual, available in Spanish, aims to provide a practical guide for activating the protection mechanisms of the Inter-American and universal human rights systems in cases of attacks, threats, and harassment against judges. It offers a step-by-step tool that includes information on drafting a petition, applicable arguments to use, and the estimated response time for each mechanism, among other important details. The manual also includes answers to the most frequent and relevant questions collected during a series of workshops on international protection of judicial independence, which the Vance Center and FECAJUD hosted in January and February 2023, drawing more than 400 attendees. 

The document offers a unique analysis of the particularities of cases in which judges request international protection, addressing not only attacks and threats to their lives, integrity, freedom, and personal safety, but also the broader impact of the loss of judicial independence has on citizens. It represents an important step toward protecting judicial independence in the region and a valuable tool for the legal community to support these defense efforts. 

The Vance Center is also grateful to Mexican firm Von Wobeser y Sierra for contributing initial research on international protection mechanisms. 

The manual is available here.