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The Transitional Justice Peace Agreements Database.  
 
Database - Record for : Political Constitution of Colombia
Record 169

Country :

Colombia

Agreement Title/Name:
Political Constitution of Colombia
Year :
1991
Date Signed :

1991

Summary :

New Constitution emerging from National Constituent Assembly, which involved political parties, civil society, indigenous peoples, and political reps of guerilla groups.


Parties :
National Constituent Assembly (Political Parties, Guerrilla Groups, Civil Society, Indigenous peoples)
Third Parties :
Statehood/Identity :
Sovereignty resides exclusively in the people, from whom public power is derived; power is exercised in direct form by the people or through their representatives within the limits established by the Constitution. It is a bicameral Congress, made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives; the Senate is elected by a national constituency and the House of Representatives by local constituencies; there are also special constituencies for the indigenous communities and for the ethnic minorities, from which members of the Congress are elected to both chambers of the legislature. The authorities of the indigenous peoples may exercise jurisdictional functions within their territorial areas, in accordance with their own laws and procedures, provided that these do not conflict with the Constitution and laws of the Republic.
Governance/Democratic Inst :
Colombia, as proclaimed in article 1 of the Constitution of 1991, is a lawful societal State organized in the form of a unitary republic, decentralized, with autonomy of its territorial units, democratic, participatory and pluralistic. The form of government is presidential. The Head of State is simultaneously head of the Government, the highest representative of the nation and the supreme commander of the armed forces and the police. The Constitution establishes the division of public power into the three traditional branches of the democratic liberal system - the legislative, executive and judicial branches - but with the constitutional duty to collaborate harmoniously to accomplish the purposes of the State.
Women :
Office of People's Advocate includes: Division for the Rights of Children, Women and Senior Citizens
Amnesty :
Not Applicable
Past Mechanism :
Not Applicable
Prisoner Release :
Not Applicable
Victims :
Not Applicable
Criminal Justice Reform :
The judicial branch is composed of the Constitutional Court; the Supreme Court of Justice, with its civil, criminal and labour divisions; the Council of State, the supreme administrative tribunal; the Higher Council of the Judicature, the supreme administrative and disciplinary authority of the judicial branch; the Office of the Public Prosecutor; the higher district courts and the circuit judges and municipal judges.
National Human Rights Inst :
The supervisory organs of the State are the Public Ministry and the Office of the Controller-General of the Republic. The Public Ministry is composed of the Attorney-General, the People's Advocate, designated attorneys, agents of the Public Ministry, municipal representatives and other officials determined by the law. It is the responsibility of this Ministry to safeguard and promote human rights, to protect the public interest and to oversee the official conduct of those who perform public functions. The Office of the Controller-General of the Republic has the duty to oversee fiscal management and to monitor administrative performance.
Human Rights Framework :
Colombia possesses a Constitution containing extensive individual rights and social guarantees; 85 of the 380 articles establish the rights, guarantees and duties of citizens, without prejudice to the other rights of the person established in the international covenants ratified by the country. The Constitution establishes special guarantees for the indigenous peoples and Afrocolombian and island communities. Title II of the Constitution contains 5 chapters and 85 articles relating to the protection, promotion and defence of human rights. These are: Chapter 1. Concerning fundamental rights (articles 11 to 41); Chapter 2. Concerning social, economic and cultural rights (articles 42 to 77); Chapter 3. Concerning collective rights and the environment (articles 78 to 82); Chapter 4. Concerning the protection and application of rights (articles 83 to 94); Chapter 5. Concerning duties and obligations (article 95). (a) Action of protection. The Constitution establishes protection as the action "whereby an individual may, at any time and in any place, appeal to the judges of the Republic, in person or through a representative acting on his/her behalf, by means of a preferential and summary procedure, to claim immediate protection of his/her fundamental constitutional rights should any of these rights be jeopardized or threatened by any action or omission of any public authority". Recourse to this action results in protection for the person consisting of an order whereby the party in respect of whom protection is sought shall act or refrain from action. This order, which is executory with immediate effect, may be challenged before the competent judge, who may refer to the Constitutional Court if review is sought. Recourse may only be made to this action when the affected party has no other means of judicial defence. The time limit for resolution of a request for protection may not exceed 10 days from the date of application; Prevalence of international treaties on human rights. International treaties and conventions ratified by the Congress that recognize human rights and prohibit their limitation during states of emergency shall have priority in domestic law. Human rights shall be interpreted in accordance with the international treaties ratified by Colombia. Office of People's Advocate includes: National Directorate for the Promotion and Dissemination of Human Rights;
Judicial Reform :
The judicial branch is composed of the Constitutional Court; the Supreme Court of Justice, with its civil, criminal and labour divisions; the Council of State, the supreme administrative tribunal; the Higher Council of the Judicature, the supreme administrative and disciplinary authority of the judicial branch; the Office of the Public Prosecutor; the higher district courts and the circuit judges and municipal judges.
Policing :
Not Applicable
Refugees/Land :
Not Applicable
Civil Society :
Major civil society involvement in D-M
Dev& Socio-Economic Rights :
Not Applicable
Enforcement Mechanism :
International Community :
UN Involvement :
Source :
summary of provisions at http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/a315ebc5b6f6701d80256562005306ad?Opendocument


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