BHRC has joined other organisations in endorsing an amicus brief submitted to the Colombian Constitutional Court in the context of a challenge, brought by a number of domestic and international human rights groups, to a constitutional amendment  (Acto Legislativo no.1 2015) which aims to reform the jurisdiction of Colombia’s military courts. In particular, the Act seeks to abolish the application of international human rights law to the investigation and prosecution of crimes committed by the army and police in connection with the civil war, leaving such conduct to be regulated by international humanitarian law alone.

This approach is at odds with established principles of public international law and with the jurisprudence of the ICJ, ECtHR and IACtHR which have long recognised that human rights do not automatically fall silent in times of war. In the wake of the ‘false positives’ scandal, the interveners are concerned that in practice this reform will serve to further exacerbate levels of impunity in Colombia and deny victims of human rights violations their rights to justice, truth and reparations.

Access the amicus brief here