Everyone have the right to justice, especially when their human rights have been violated. The administration system of justice of each country must ensure the reparation to the people who are victims of crimes and human rights violations, sanctioning those responsible.

The types of reparations can be:

1- Punitive, when those who are guilty are deprived from their freedom.

2- Compensatory, when the affected person receives some kind of monetary compensation.

3- Restorative, designed to give back the victim the same position the person would have been if the actions committed hadn’t taken place.

4- Non-repetition, when measures are taken to avoid that abuses are repeated in the future.

The right to justice must guarantee all effective resources possible for those affected, regardless of their economic condition, political or religious beliefs, so they can have a fair trial with the right to defense and due process.

The right to justice grants a series of obligations to the state: investigate violations, pursue the authors and, if the guiltiness is established, ensure their sanction.

When a country is governed by an authoritarian and non-democratic system, the justice becomes transitional, along with the measures used to address human rights violation that are massive and systematic, as the existing system of justice cannot provide appropriate response. The measures of transitional justice are aligned with the social and political process that allows the return and strengthening of democracy, restimulating the country’s reconciliation.

Four elements can be part of the transitional
justice process:

1- Criminal processes, at least against the main responsible people of the most serious crimes.

2- Processes of “truth gathering” (or researches), on the violations, not only focused on their happenings, but also on their causes and consequences.

3- Reparations, on diverse forms -individual, collective, material and symbolic- to the human rights violations.

4- Judicial and institutional reforms that can affect the police, the courts, the armed forces and the intelligence services of the country.

Possible activities to promote Justice:

  • Promote the structural reform of the administration system of Justice to offer timely and effective response without discrimination to all citizens.
  • Criminal processes for the material and intellectual authors of the human rights violations.
  • Measures of psychologic and social assistance, especially in the case of victims that have suffered torture, sexual abuse and arbitrary detention.
  • Elimination of paramilitary armed groups, joined with measures of reinsertion for their members.
  • Derogation or reform to all laws, norms and judgments that favor impunity and are contrary to the full enjoyment of human rights.
  • Dismissal of senior officials involved in the serious violations that have been committed.
  • Demand and present proposals for the nullification of future amnesties, pardons, or commutation of rulings for crimes against humanity and human rights violations.
  • Review and reform the Ombudsman’s Office in order to provide an independent institution at the service of all persons, without discrimination.
  • Promote legislative approval of a law to compensate former political detainees.
  • Promote the legislative approval of a law that prohibits ideological discrimination and that compensates and reincorporates all public employees dismissed for political reasons.
  • Evaluate the performance of police and military institutions involved in systematic human rights violations, promoting their reform and/or elimination.
  • Demand the National Executive to ensure that all state civil, police, and military officials who are identified and sufficiently proven to have participated in human rights violations by the Truth Commission or by the judiciary are prevented from holding public office.
  • Generate and institutionalize human rights training programs for police and military officials.