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CHR backs bill to protect safety of judges

Graphic: CHR head office, Quezon City

The CHR says the proposed legislation is necessary to ensure the security of judges as they carry out their duties without reprisal of any kind.

With the alarming spike in attacks and killings against members of the judiciary, the Commission on Human Rights backs the immediate passage of Senate Bill No. 1181 creating the Philippine Marshals Service Unit.

This proposed legislation is necessary to ensure the protection and security of judges as they carry out their professional duties without reprisal of any kind.

Judges and members of the legal profession handling high-profile cases are more vulnerable to retaliation and are prone to intimidation by powerful individuals and organisations.

We need to collectively create an independent and safe environment for our courts to effectively administer their decisions and to genuinely pursue justice for victims of human rights violations.

Perpetuating violence against judges further undermines our justice system and reinforces impunity.

The Commission urges the government to take all necessary steps and assume responsibility in protecting the life and physical integrity of justices, judges and other court official and personnel.

The duty to respect and guarantee safety and freedoms of judges, like other citizens, is part of the Philippines' obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Creating measures such as the Senate Bill 1181 deserves stronger support from our legislators to hold perpetrators accountable for these killings against the defenders of the Constitution.

The CHR will continue to conduct its investigation of cases involving deaths of judges and other legal professionals and commits to fully support the Supreme Court as soon as the bill gets enacted and once the Philippine Marshalls Service Unit becomes operational.

Date: 24 November 2019

Source: Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines


Image credits

  1. CHR head office, Quezon City - APF