Thursday, December 5, 2013

United Nations selects Mexico's Supreme Judicial Court for prestigious Defense of Human Rights Award

*Updated Dec. 10*
Guadalajara -
The Supreme Judicial Court of Mexico (SCJN) is one of several winners of the United Nations 2013 Defense of Human Rights Award, given out every five years by the world organization.

The U.N. noted that the SCJN "has made important progress in the promotion of human rights through its interpretations and application of the Mexican Constitution, and its recognition of the nation's duties under international law."

"At the same time, the Court has established important standards in human rights for Mexico and the Latin American region," said a U.N. statement.

Unlike many courts of ultimate instance, in resolving legal disputes the Mexican Supreme Judicial Court frequently places much emphasis on emerging human rights standards around the world and its perception of the country's obligations under international treaties and conventions. In contrast, the U.S. Supreme Court generally decides cases based exclusively upon American law, as set forth in the Constitution, state and federal statutes, administrative regulations and prior judicial decisions, without reference to or reliance upon foreign legal sources. An excellent illustration of the latter is this 2008 opinion, where the Supreme Court ignored a mandate of the International Court of Justice at The Hague, in a case involving 51 Mexicans facing death sentences in U.S. state courts.

The U.N. said the award is intended not only to recognize the achievements of the Court, but to send a message of support and solidarity to human rights advocates working throughout the international community.

All of the awards announced today will be formally presented by the organization at a ceremony in New York on Dec. 10, World Human Rights Day.

Previous winners include former South African president Nelson Mandela, who died in Johannesburg today at 95.

Dec. 10 - The president of Mexico's Supreme Judicial Court today received the Human Rights Award on behalf of the 11 member tribunal during a ceremony at U.N. headquarters in New York. The Court is the first ever to receive the prestigious award.

In acceptance remarks chief judge Juan Silva Meza said, "the Supreme Court of Mexico considers this recognition not only to be congratulatory in nature, but one which imposes an obligation on all of us as we begin a constitutional reconstruction of the country."

Dec. 26 - Condemned Mexican's approaching date with Texas execution chamber poses international risks for U.S.

May 20, 2014 - Huge salaries of Mexican Supreme Court judges far outstrip their judicial brethren

Key decisions of the Supreme Judicial Court reported by MGR:

Feb. 27 - Mexican high court awards punitive damages in Acapulco hotel electrocution case
Jan. 16 - Mexican judges: warrantless cell phone tracking is legal

Mexican Supreme Court rejects appeal of co-defendant in U.S. agent's 1985 murder case
Mexican Supreme Court overturns release of Guadalajara Cartel drug lord
Mexican Supreme Court establishes U.S. style property division rules in divorce cases
Mexican Supreme Court rejects HIV discrimination case
Mexican Supreme Court ruling expands abortion rights
Mexican Supreme Court orders Canadian Cynthia Vanier released, on narrow legal technicalities
Same sex marriage arrives at the U.S. Supreme Court - and at the Mexican Supreme Court
Mexican Supreme Court: anti-gay comments are hate speech, not free speech
Mexico's Supreme Court approves polygraph tests for federal prosecutors, with limitations
Mexico's Supreme Court orders Florence Cassez freed

Mexico's Supreme Court takes another step towards nationwide recognition of gay marriage
Mexican Supreme Court hands landmark legal victory to woman almost killed by her boyfriend
Mexican Supreme Court strips military courts of criminal jurisdiction in offenses against civilians
Mexico's high court rejects lie detectors, drug tests, psych profiles for political candidates
Mexico's highest court upholds right of same-sex couples to marry, but only in some states

Mexico's Supreme Judicial Court fails to strike down state anti-abortion laws

© MGRR 2013. All rights reserved. This article may be cited or briefly quoted with proper attribution or a hyperlink, but not reproduced without permission.

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