Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Half Hour for Haiti: Justice for Political Prisoner Jacques Mathelier

 June 21, 2005 A week ago today, Bernard Gousse, Haiti’s Minister of Justice, resigned. Gousse has been the strongest single force behind the persecution of political prisoners in Haiti. He personally (and illegally) countermanded release orders by judges and even his own prosecutors. He personally led at least one midnight illegal arrest (for much more information, see Gousse’s departure is a good sign in two ways. First, it is a sign that our advocacy is working: most media reports and commentators on the resignation attributed it to the international pressure on Gousse, especially in the Neptune case. Second, it is a sign of hope that political prisoners may be released. But the hope will not automatically transform into reality: the people who placed Gousse in his position and supported him for a year are still there, as is the […]

Summary of a paper by Haitian Jurist Bernard H. Gousse

Summary of a paper by Haitian Jurist Bernard H. Gousse June 2002 In his paper, L’Indépendance Judiciaire en Haïti, respected Haitian jurist Bernard H. Gousse notes that civilizations will be judged by the quality of their justice. By aptly depicting the institutional, personal, administrative and budgetary shortcomings of the Haitian judiciary, he appeals to Haiti’s citizens to build national coalitions to demand and monitor judicial reforms. <back> The State of Judicial Independence The Haitian Constitution, originally passed in the early 19th Century, was considered one of the most progressive in the democratic world. Then and today, the Haitian people have been very proud of the document and the vision it enshrines. It contains the democratic principles of separation of power and the rule of law for all Haitian people-including the principle of judicial independence. However, since the constitution was originally […]

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