June 17, 2004

Rigging the Rule of Law:

Judicial Independence Under Siege in Venezuela

I. Summary
Main Recommendations
II. International Norms on Judicial Independence
The OAS and the Inter-American Democratic Charter
International Human Rights Treaties
III. Background
The Judiciary's Disreputable Past
Declaring a Judicial Emergency
Political Polarization under Chvez
IV. Disposable Judges
Provisional Judgeships
Judges Summarily Fired
Second Highest Court Shut Down
V. Separation of Powers Under Assault
Power to pack the court
Power to purge the court
Implications for the referendum...
VI. Recommendations
To President Hugo Chvez Fras:
To the Supreme Court:
To international lending agencies:
To the Organization of American States:
VII. Acknowledgements