The latest news on this evolving story comes from Human Right Watch:
Bolivian authorities have arbitrarily dismissed almost 100 judges since 2017, seriously undermining judicial independence in the country, Human Rights Watch said today. The Organization of American States (OAS) should convene a meeting of its Permanent Council to address ongoing justice system changes in Bolivia that are weakening the rule of law.
Bolivia’s Magistrates Council, the body that appoints and dismisses judges, has arbitrarily dismissed dozens of judges, most recently in March 2019. The dismissed judges received a memorandum “thanking” them for their work and telling them to leave their offices that day. The memorandums do not indicate the cause for their dismissal, nor were the judges given an opportunity to challenge their dismissals before they were fired.
“There is a reason international law provides that judges should not be fired as if they were any other public official,” said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch. “The OAS member states should remind Bolivian authorities that judicial independence, including guarantees protecting judges from arbitrary removal, is a key component of any rights-respecting democracy.”
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