GENEVA (11 February 2022) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers, Diego García-Sayán, at the invitation of the government will conduct an official visit to Bolivia from 15 to 22 February.
The independent expert will address issues related to the structure, organization, independence and impartial functioning of the judiciary and prosecutors; the administration of justice; fair trial; as well as the independent exercise of the legal profession.
“The objective of my visit is to examine, in a spirit of cooperation and dialogue, the situation of justice in Bolivia, and to be able to make a contribution to the ongoing reform efforts in the country,” said García-Sayán, adding he will also examine equal access to justice and legal aid, including from a gender perspective.
“I intend to establish a constructive dialogue with all parties interested in strengthening the administration of justice in Bolivia.”
During his visit, the expert will meet government officials and legislative authorities, as well as with judges, prosecutors and lawyers. He will also meet representatives from civil society, academia, United Nations agencies, donors and the diplomatic community.
At the end of the visit, on 22 February, the special rapporteur will hold a news conference to present his preliminary observations. It will be held at 2 p.m. local time at the Hotel Presidente, in La Paz. Access will be strictly limited to accredited journalists. During his visit, the Rapporteur will not make statements to the press, beyond his final press conference.
The Special Rapporteur will present a comprehensive report with his conclusions and recommendations to the Human Rights Council in Geneva in June 2023.
Mr. Diego García-Sayán (Peru) has been the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyerssince December 2016. Previously, he was a judge of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for two consecutive terms. During his tenure, he was elected Vice President of the Court (2008-2009) and President of the Court for two consecutive terms (2009-2013). He has been Minister of Justice and also Minister of Foreign Affairs in Peru. He has extensive experience working on human rights issues in various institutions, including the United Nations and the Organization of American States. Among others he was: Representative of the Secretary General of the United Nations for the Peace Agreements in El Salvador and for the subsequent verification of the agreements reporting directly to the Security Council; member and President of the United Nations Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances for several years; member of the United Nations Justice Administration System Redesign Group, appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General in 2006; Head of the Electoral Mission of the Organization of American States (OAS) in Guatemala during the general elections (2007).
The Special Rapporteurs are part of the Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name for the independent investigative and monitoring mechanisms established by the Council to deal with specific situations in countries or thematic issues around the world. The experts of the Special Procedures work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization and act in their individual capacity.