Inter-American Court orders reinstatement of Honduran judges and magistrate

November 13, 2015

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights published a sentence in the López Lone and others vs Honduras case in favor of three judges and a magistrate who, in their fight for democracy and rule of law, were dismissed from their positions for dissenting against the coup that took place June 28, 2009 in Honduras. This decision threatened judicial independence, which should prevail in any state of law.

In 2010, judges Adán Guillermo López Lone, Luis Alonso Chévez de la Rocha and Ramón Enrique Barrios Maldonado, as well as Tirza del Carmen Flores Lanza, were subjected to arbitrary disciplinary processes and subsequently dismissed from their charges for publicly defending democracy and the rule of law in Honduras.

Hivos partners, the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and the Judges for Democracy Partnership (Asociación de Jueces por la Democracia (AJD), supported by both Dutch government funding (MFS-II) and the Security & Justice program, represented the victims in the Inter-American Commission and Court of Human Rights.

On November 10th, the Court published the sentence that found the State of Honduras responsible and ordered to rejoin the judges and magistrate to similar positions to those held at the time of the facts, with the same pay, benefits and rank. This verdict is an important resolution to strengthen judicial independence in Honduras and the region.

The I-A Court recognized that the actions of the judges and magistrate “corresponded not only to the exercise of a right but to duty to defend democracy” and that “there may be situations where a judge as a citizen of the society, believes it has a moral duty to express themselves.”

Hivos is very proud of the work of our partners and of their tenacity and resilience. Our long-term support for them has concluded successfully, resulting in a landmark of justice for Honduras and the region.