The deteriorating human rights and security situation has further weakened an already struggling justice system. Fear and intimidation are now a reality that many lawyers and judges must face. It is reported that between 2016 and 2020, courts throughout the country only managed to open for a total of 205 days. The independence of the justice system is under attack in ways never before seen. Political divisions have spilled over to the justice sector, and tensions between the judiciary and the executive have reached an all-time high. Meanwhile, prisons continue to fill up as pre-trial detention reaches historic levels. Haiti urgently needs to rebuild the rule of law, including making the justice system more fair, effective, and transparent.
Author: Marie-Claude Jean-Baptiste, Programme Director at the Cyrus R. Vance Center for International Justice.