Tag Archive for: Amicus Curiae

From May 20 to 29, the 167th Ordinary Period of Sessions of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CoIDH) was held in Brazil. On this occasion, the Public Hearings of the Advisory Opinion on “Climate Emergency and Human Rights” presented by Chile and Colombia continued. On April 27, the CIEL Foundation and VUDAS (United Neighbors in Defense of a Healthy Environment) were presenting within the framework of the amicus curie presented by Fundeps together with other civil society organizations, representatives of the Public of the Escazú Agreement and communities in struggle, relating to human rights defenders in environmental matters in the context of climate change and energy transition.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

In January 2023, Chile and Colombia presented to the Court a request for an Advisory Opinion on Climate Emergency and Human Rights. Through this request, the CoIDH was asked to issue a ruling in relation to state obligations to protect, prevent and guarantee people and territories in the context of a climate emergency.

Dozens of organizations and defenders from the region saw in this request for an advisory opinion an opportunity to present to the IACHR their observations, arguments and concerns regarding the points of analysis presented by Chile and Colombia. The level of citizen participation, carried out through amicus curiae, makes the request historic and highlights the concern that exists around the issues presented to the CoIDH for its consideration.

In this sense, in the amicus curie, from Fundeps, together with more than 15 civil society organizations, elected representatives of the Public of the Escazú Agreement and communities in struggle, we provide arguments related to:
a. the importance of ratifying the Escazú Agreement by countries that have not yet done so.
b. The fundamental thing would be for the Inter-American Court to apply the protection standards of the Escazú Agreement in its decisions.
c. The intersectionality that exists between structural inequalities, vulnerability to the climate emergency and the risks faced by women and, in particular, women defenders.
d. The challenges presented by the energy transition in relation to the protection of human rights.

Representing the amicus, Luisa Gómez from the CIEL Foundation and Silvia Cruz and Maria Rosa Viñolo from Vecinas Unidos en Defensa de un Ambiente Seguro (VUDAS) traveled to participate in the hearing in the city of Manaus, Brazil. On Monday, May 27, they presented the main argumentative points of the amicus. You can see his interventions starting at minute 51:27 of this video.

They have been carrying out a socio-environmental struggle for more than 10 years against the installation and operation of a bioethanol production plant in their neighborhood, in the City of Córdoba. From Fundeps, we accompany the VUDAS in their fight and on this occasion, we present their witness case in the inter-American system as it illustrates the challenges faced by human rights defenders in environmental matters and even more so by women defenders. The VUDAS, like other organizations, navigate daily the contradictions of an unjust energy transition, which generates areas of sacrifice and puts human rights in check. Many of the alternatives or solutions that are presented as “green” in the context of energy transition, bring with them multiple problems and violations of rights that, if not addressed comprehensively, endanger communities and territories.

The resolution of this request for an advisory opinion, which is expected at the end of this year, generates great expectations due to the need that exists in the inter-American human rights system, for the IACHR to issue a ruling regarding the obligations and responsibilities of the States. in the context of climate emergency and energy transition.



Manuela Fernandez Grassani


Laura Carrizo, lauracarrizo@fundeps.org

Since its enactment at the end of last year, the IVE law is in full force and its first effects are already being verified in access to practice in health centers throughout the country. Meanwhile, in court, conservative sectors continue to try actions to postpone it.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”

The Law of Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy No. 27,610, sanctioned at the end of 2020 and in force since January 24, 2021, implied an important deepening of human rights for women and pregnant persons.

Half a year later, access to abortion is making its way into all health subsystems across the country. In Córdoba, there are more than 100 health establishments that already guarantee this right. On May 28, International Day of Action for Women’s Health, the Ministry of Health of the Nation presented the update of the protocol for the comprehensive care of people with the right to Voluntary and Legal Interruption of Pregnancy.

The new protocol

The protocol constitutes an instrument that aims to offer guidance to health teams, providing them with a regulatory framework and clinical guidelines for precise and clear care that allows them to carry out the termination of pregnancy. Compliance with the highest standards of care is contemplated, that is, those that imply respect for quality, accessibility, confidentiality, technical competence, range of available options and updated scientific information.

From a clinical point of view, the protocol incorporates international recommendations on procedures for the legal termination of pregnancy – drug dose and manual vacuum aspiration (MVA) – and reinforces the importance of rapid access to comprehensive care, reinforcing the need resolution in the first level of care and in drug treatments.

In other words, it implies reinsurance so that girls, adolescents, women and people with the capacity to carry a child receive dignified treatment and quality care, thus guaranteeing IVE until week 14 of the gestational process inclusive and the ILE when appropriate.

As it is a document that sets out certain references on how to carry out the procedure, it is not necessary for the provinces to adhere to it in order to make the implementation of National Law 27,610 effective. In other words, the law is operative regardless of the adherence or validity of the protocol.

The judicialization here and there

In different parts of the country, legal actions were initiated that marked from the first minute a strong sense of legal insecurity for those who have the right to access the practice. There are already more than 30 actions filed against the law. Most of them have been rejected without further proceedings, but excessive judicialization creates obstacles to access and confusion among users.

In Córdoba, at the beginning of April, Aurelio García Elorrio, a reference for the civil association Portal de Belén, filed an amparo against the province requesting the unconstitutionality of the law, and in turn, requested a precautionary measure to suspend the validity of the law, the which was rejected immediately. Faced with this, he filed an appeal that is currently being processed before the Superior Court of Justice.

In this case, the Public Interest Litigation Clinic, Catholics for the Right to Decide and Fundeps present ourselves as interested third parties in order to protect the rights of the group of women and pregnant persons of Córdoba. It is important to clarify that this process does not alter the validity of the law, which continues to be applicable and enforceable throughout the provincial territory.

Meanwhile, in Mar del Plata, at the beginning of June, Federal Court No. 4 in charge of First Instance Judge Alfredo Eugenio Lopez, issued a precautionary measure suspending the effects of the law, the protocol and other resolutions.

The National State immediately appeared in the file, challenging the judge for cause and appealing the precautionary measure. Thus, the case was left in the hands of the surrogate judge, Santiago José Martín, who granted the appeal with suspensive effect of the measure. This means that the injunction granted no longer has effect until the Chamber of Mar del Plata is issued on the appeal.

Faced with this panorama and by virtue of the importance of the case, from Fundeps we present ourselves in the file as “friends of the court”, with the aim of providing human rights arguments, specifically on the right to health and sexual and reproductive rights. and non-reproductive.

It is elementary to think of Law 27,610 as a public health policy representative of fundamental human rights standards. These lawsuits are not mere isolated events, but constitute a form of activism that hinders and limits a basic health practice of sexual health. In Córdoba we already know the effects of the judicialization of the provincial guide for the care of non-punishable abortions that Portal de Belén began in 2012. This case had the consequence that women and pregnant people of Córdoba who were in qualified situations by the Penal Code to access the practice of non-punishable abortion could not do so in this jurisdiction during all the years in which the amparo was pending resolution, resulting in a serious impact on their most basic human rights, despite the fact that later it was The action was rejected due to lack of case and lack of standing.

Faced with this scenario, the competent courts in cases where the law is under discussion have the opportunity to establish clear guidelines regarding the protection of fundamental rights such as sexual and (non) reproductive rights. A solution that respects these rights is simply to maintain the validity of Law 27,610 on Access to Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy, not giving rise to the requested precautionary measures.



Agostina Copetti

Sofia Mongi


Mayca Balaguer

This is the case of “María Magdalena”, a woman who came to the guard of a hospital with an abortion in progress and suffered torture, inhuman treatment and obstetric violence when she was treated, and later was unable to access justice in the province of Tucumán.

In 2012, María Magdalena (name used to preserve her anonymity) arrived at the Nuestra Señora de las Mercedes Maternity guard with a miscarriage in progress. The gynecologists who treated her, Claudia Callejas and Alejandra Bereguer, performed a curettage without anesthesia and later reported her to the police, accusing her of having caused the abortion.

María Magdalena was dismissed in 2015 and has been trying to get justice ever since. She denounced these doctors for gender violence and violation of professional secrecy, but in all the judicial instances of Tucumán they refused to investigate, and they filed the case.

The case reached the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation and in February of this year it was resolved that the Judicial Power of Tucumán should investigate the medical actions of the gynecologists and rule on the denounced facts, since these signify a flagrant violation of the Women rights.

From Fundeps, we present an Amicus Curiae presenting a series of arguments to substantiate the human rights violations suffered by María Magdalena, and thus demand that justice be done. Among them, we highlight the right to a life free of violence in the framework of health care, compliance with the medical obligations of health professionals (derived from the Law on the Rights of the Patient in their Relationship with Professionals and Health Institutions) and the right to access justice.

We demand that the Judicial Power of Tucumán comply with its duty to guarantee women the full enjoyment of their rights and that it punish those who attempt against them, doing justice for María Magdalena and all women who see obstacles hindering access to essential services under conditions. safe and affordable.


Sofia Armando


Mayca Balaguer, maycabalaguer@fundeps.org

The amicus curiae presentation made by CELS in a federal public interest case was rejected by the lower court and by the Appeals Chamber. His request to be considered a friend of the court reached the Supreme Court, so we request that the case be opened to amicus.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

On September 10, we presented a request to the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation to open the call for amicus curiae in the case “Argentine Chamber of Medicinal Specialties and another against the National State Ministry of Industry of the Nation and others s / Nullity administrative act ”. In said process, where the controversy concerns the regulation of the conditions for the patentability of chemical-pharmaceutical inventions, the Center for Legal and Social Studies (CELS) requested participation as “amicus curiae”. This in the understanding that there is an intimate relationship between the right to health, and access to medicines under conditions of equality, and the criteria for patentability. However, this request was denied both in the first instance and in the Federal Civil and Commercial Chamber.

The rejection was based on the absence of regulation of the procedural figure in lower instances than the Supreme Court and the lack of expertise of the CELS on the merits of the case. However, the jurisprudential antecedents show that this is not an impediment to admit the participation of the friends of the court. On the other hand, the reason why CELS requests participation in the cause lies in the public interest and the fundamental rights committed, a subject in which it has a recognized track record.

In our request we state that the intervention of the amicus curiae can contribute to an improvement in the jurisdictional activity of matters of public interest and to a democratization of the judicial debate. The denial of CELS as amicus curiae in all procedural instances obstructs the possibility of reaching a more democratic and transparent decision.

The decision made by the Court in this instance may mark a jurisprudential guide for similar cases. That is why this presentation constitutes a good opportunity for you to establish a broad criterion for the admission of this figure and for citizen participation in judicial debates of public interest to begin to be the rule and stop being the exception.


Barbara Juarez


Mayca Balaguer, maycabalaguer@fundeps.org

This Monday we present ourselves as “Friends of the court” in the case before the Court No. 7 of the province of Córdoba, by Dr. Susana Ottogalli de Aicardi, following the complaint of women victims and professionals in the area of primary health against the service of the Provincial Maternal and Neonatal Hospital Dr. Ramón Carrillo.

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

The Córdoba Public Interest Law Clinic (CLIP), with the support of the Catholic Civil Association for the Right to Decide and the Latin American Justice and Gender Team (ELA), denounced in early October the breach of Provincial Law No. 9344 of Surgical Contraception at the Maternal and Neonatal Hospital of Córdoba, for the systematic violation of the reproductive freedom of women users of the health system.

The presentation details the historical and systematic obstruction of access to tubal ligation, through institutional violence and different attacks on the dignity of women seeking access to the surgical contraception service.

In our brief, we bring to the Court relevant factual and legal grounds for the defense of the right to health and a life free of violence. Specifically, we prepare a brief updated summary of the recommendations, observations and pronouncements of international organizations that oversee the application of human rights treaties, which have constitutional hierarchy in our country.

The denial or obstruction of access to sexual and reproductive rights that involve life free of violence, non-discrimination of any kind, family planning, as well as access to health services and the information necessary to fully exercise them , constitute acts of violence, especially if they are exercised on women.

It is the duty of the State to guarantee women the full enjoyment of their rights and to prevent and punish those who do not facilitate or guarantee access to essential services to women, in conditions of security and accessibility.

It is essential that Justice be issued in favor of the effective realization of human rights, especially of the groups most historically violated and on issues of essential importance such as the right to health. The denial or obstruction of access to these rights constitutes a serious act of violence against women, which must cease immediately, by virtue of the international commitments assumed by our country, and in respect to human rights and our current legal system.


Mayca Balaguer, maycabalaguer@fundeps.org

We present an amicus curiae (Friend of the Court) in the case before the Federal Administrative Contentious Court No. 11, for an amparo presented by the Civil Association Portal de Belén and by the Association for the Promotion of Civil Rights (ProDeCi), where they question the constitutionality of the Protocol for the comprehensive care of people entitled to the Legal Interruption of Pregnancy of the Ministry of Health and Social Development, and of Provision No. 946/2018 of the National Administration of Medicines, Food and Technology (ANMAT).

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

All against the ILE

At the end of last year, the Civil Association Portal de Belén presented an amparo before the federal justice of Río Cuarto requesting that “the absolute and inadmissible nullity of the“ Protocol for the Comprehensive Attention of Persons with the Right to Legal Interruption of Pregnancy be declared ”, For violation of the right of collective incidence to life, and that the absolute and insanity nullity be declared for unconstitutionality of Provision No. 946/2018 of the ANMAT, issued on 10/12/2018, while authorizing the firm Laboratorios Domínguez SAa new condition of sale (under archived prescription). ”In addition, they requested a precautionary measure to suspend the effects of both resolutions.

However, the federal judge of Río Cuarto declared himself incompetent. Although the cause is of federal competence because of the people, because the National State is being sued (through its ministry and one of its dependencies), it was appropriate to refer the proceedings to the Federal Court in Administrative Litigation in turn of the Autonomous City from Buenos Aires, which turned out to be No. 11.

Meanwhile, a similar case was filed before the Federal Contentious Administrative Court No. 7, initiated almost simultaneously by the Association for the Promotion of Civil Rights (PRODECI). PRODECI is an organization “constituted with the purpose of promoting family, life and values, from the law, justice, communication, citizen participation and dissemination”, as can be seen on its website. However, there is no information on who makes it up or how it is financed, although its website details the activities carried out against sexual and reproductive rights, such as Integral Sexual Education. This organization had presented itself as a “friend of the court” in the case that Portal de Belén initiated in the Province of Córdoba against the local protocol.

Thus, by indication of the Federal Prosecutor, and having the same purpose, both cases were accumulated in Court No. 11, as well as the Benefit to Litigate Without Expenses requested by PRODECI. At this time the file is in the office, waiting to resolve the request for the precautionary measure.


In the document presented, we accompany fundamentals based on the local legal system, its norms and principles, international human rights treaties with constitutional hierarchy, the pronouncements of international organizations created to monitor their validity and the recommendations of the institutions with the highest authority in the matter health, such as the World Health Organization, with the aim of defending the validity of both the national protocol and the provision of ANMAT that allows the sale of misoprostol in pharmacies.

In addition, we express that reversing any of the two provisions would be contrary to the principle of progressivity and not regressive of human rights, and that it could irreparably injure the human right to health of women and pregnant people in our country. Both provisions are nothing more than the expression of a public health policy that aims to facilitate access to the provision of an essential service that must be guaranteed by the State.

Finally, we consider that the action presented is just another attempt by these organizations to impede the right to access to legal termination of pregnancy, as they did already at the local level. It is worth remembering that the protection attempted by Portal de Belén in our province was rejected by the TSJ last year.

It will be law

It is hard to believe that at this point we have to continue defending such basic rights in court. Access to legal abortion for reasons has been a right since 1921. International human rights organizations have repeatedly recommended that the State of Argentina facilitate access to practice in safety, and have even instructed it to review its regulation, approving the bill concerning the voluntary termination of pregnancy.

However, all forecasts indicate that next year the bill on Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy will have legislative treatment again. After so many years of struggle, the abortion of the Criminal Code is imminent.

The enactment of an IVE law will mean an advance in the recognition of the human rights of women and pregnant people, fundamentally of the rights related to sexual and reproductive health and the recognition of their freedom and autonomy. Sooner rather than later, it will be law.

More information


Mayca Balguer, maycabalaguer@fundeps.org

We request the participation in the character of friend of the court (amicus curiae) in the case that must be resolved on the environmental problem that affects the neighbors of the production plant of the company “Porta Hnos.”

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”.

We submit a request to federal court No. 3 by Judge Miguel Vaca Narvaja, admission and participation as amicus curiae (friend of the court) in the cars “CRUZ, SILVIA MARCELA AND OTHER C / MINISTRY OF ENERGY AND MINING OF THE NATION S / ENVIRONMENTAL AMPARO (FCB 021076/2016)”, which are processed before said court, on the occasion of the environmental protection initiated by the neighbors of the Porta Hnos plant, against the polluting activity present there.

Continuing with the commitment around the problem that afflicts the neighbors of that of the Porta plant, on this occasion, through the Amicus Curiae Institute, we intend to provide the intervening Court with foundations of fact and law that we consider relevant for the purposes of an adequate weighting in relation to the interests at stake and a resolution of the problem respectful of the fundamental rights affected.

It should be remembered that the conflict to be resolved in the federal justice of this province, involves more than 25 neighbors of B ° San Antonio and members of the Citizen Assembly “UNITED NEIGHBORS IN DEFENSE OF A HEALTHY ENVIRONMENT – VUDAS” who initiated an action Amparo Ambiental group against the Ministry of Energy and Mining of the Nation (Secretariat of Hydrocarbons Resources) requesting the closure and final closure of the bioethanol plant of PORTA HNOS. S.A since the operation of this irreparably affects the health of the neighbors and the environment.

We consider participation in this case to be of fundamental importance since in the underlying conflict, fundamental human rights such as life, health and the environment are compromised. For this reason, the resolution must consider such extremes and, in this case, provide a judicial response that may mean an important judicial precedent in environmental matters.


Ananda Lavayen


Juan Bautista Lopez, juanbautistalopez@fundeps.org

“Below, we offer a google translate version of the original article in Spanish. This translation may not be accurate but serves as a general presentation of the article. For more accurate information, please switch to the Spanish version of the website. In addition, feel free to directly contact in English the person mentioned at the bottom of this article with regards to this topic”


We made a presentation before the Constitutional Court of Colombia to bring to the court legal arguments about the obligation of the state of the protection of the Great Marsh of Santa Marta. This Ciénaga is a deltaic system of wetlands located to the north of Colombia and is considered one of the most productive ecosystems of the Caribbean for its important hydrological and ecological characteristics. Despite their protected status, the Ciénaga and the fishermen who inhabit it have suffered for years the significant decrease in freshwater that feeds the ecoregion and the inadequate handling of soils and water basins. The deterioration of the Ciénaga is due to a structural crisis that has not been properly addressed by the different entities with competence in the area.

Faced with violations of fundamental rights, environmental degradation and the inaction of the competent authorities, on November 10, 2016, two inhabitants of the Palafitic peoples who live in the Ciénaga filed a protection action in coordination with Dejusticia. The action was filed against 26 public entities of the Colombian national and local order, as well as against private companies. The guardianship action focuses on three issues. The first of these consists of the excessive use of the water sources and the lands of the swamp by the agroindustry and the omission in the duty of control by the authorities. They have built dykes, dried up terrain, diverted rivers, but the response of the authorities has been insufficient. The second, addresses the lack of proper maintenance and dredging of rivers and streams that feed freshwater to the marsh. Although millions of contracts have been signed to carry out these activities, few results are visible. Finally, the tutelage warns about the infrastructure projects that are planned to be built on the ecoregion.

The 25 of November of 2016 the guardianship was admitted, the judge of first instance denied the action alleging its improbency. It was considered that, although the great deterioration of the Cienaga was evident, this situation had been attended through a popular action previously promoted by another citizen. This decision was contested and the ruling was confirmed in second instance on February 16, 2017 by the Civil and Agrarian Cassation Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice of Colombia. In April of this year the case reaches the Constitutional Court of Colombia. In this instance we present an amicus curiae (Latin expression that refers to a friend of the court or friend of the court). The latter is a presentation made by a third party outside the litigation, where they voluntarily offer legal and / or technical arguments to collaborate with the court before the sentence.

We consider that the case requires a structural response, in which the different entities with competence over the region participate and dialogue, always guaranteeing the participation of the communities. We believe that this is an ideal case to carry forward a model of dialogic justice in Colombia, to seek a structural solution to the problem, to hold public hearings where all parties involved have the possibility of being heard and that control is carried out active by the State. Similar statements have been made in cases in which we have been working as in the situation of contamination of the treatment plant for liquid effluent from the Bajo Grande WWTP or in the conflict over the operation of the Porta plant.

Wetlands are an important food, shelter and breeding site for a wide variety of wild species, and their protection and conservation are of particular importance. In addition, there are numerous international treaties that require active policies to protect the environment and the communities that live there. The Constitutional Court has the opportunity to establish clear guidelines regarding the protection of the human right to a healthy environment for a site of key environmental importance, as well as for vulnerable populations. In this sense, it is necessary that the Court and civil society follow up judiciously and permanently to the orders that are given in the sentence to verify the situation of the affected communities.

We support and promote the initiatives of participation of all the actors in the structural processes of modification of public policies.

Image credit


More information

Constitutional Court has last word to save Big Marsh of Santa Marta | Dejusticia


Victoria Gerbaldo – victoriagerbaldo@fundeps.org

Juan Carballo – juanmcarballo@fundeps.org

The fundamentals of the amicus seek to prove violations of fundamental rights, environmental degradation and the inaction of the competent authorities. We consider that the case requires a structural response, in which the different entities with competence over the region participate and dialogue, always guaranteeing the participation of the communities. We believe that this is a case for ideal to carry out a model of dialogical justice in Colombia, to look for a structural solution to the problem, to carry out public hearings where all the parties involved have the possibility to be heard and to carry out a control active by the State.

The fundamentals of the amicus seek to prove that the measures adopted by the resolution of the Colombian Superintendence of Industry and Commerce signify a violation of human rights obligations at different levels, while weakening the possibilities of responding to a global epidemic. malnutrition and obesity. On the one hand, the freedom of expression of an organization of civil society is violated, it is even a clear prior censorship regarding its performance in the public sphere. And on the other, human rights obligations are also violated while the Colombian state fails to comply with the recommendations of monitoring bodies on how to deal with the obesity epidemic.

The department of human rights submitted two Amicus Curiae briefs, enabling public participation in court cases, in discussions concerning health protection and tobacco control. FUNDEPS seeks to promote legal frameworks and protect the human right to health.


In the case of “Inter-American Heart Foundation – Argentina versus the Government of the City of Buenos Aires under the Amparo Action of Protection”, FUNDEPS constituted as a “friend of the Court” in the appeal case presented before Room I of the Appeals Chamber in the Civil and Commercial Court of the City of Buenos Aires.Through Amparo, CIF Argentina, a Non-Profit Organisation working in public politics concerning chronic non-communicable diseases, demanded that the Government of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires take direct measures to effectively comply with provisions by the Law of Tobacco Control in the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.

In the first instance, Judge Lidia E. Lago rejected the appeal, arguing that the Amparo Action of Protection was intended only for those cases in which constitutional rights are violated in a clearly arbitrary or unlawful manner. The judge accepts that, in this case this requirement was not fulfilled; therefore the Amparo procedure was not relevant, despite non-compliance of regulations causing direct damage to the human right to health of Buenos Aires citizens.

Before the adverse ruling, FIC Argentina appealed the adjudication and FUNDEPS appeared as a “friend of the Court”, supporting the arguments of the appellant. In this manner, FUNDEPS warned against the use of tobacco products and the industry’s focus on young people. Reference was also made to the content and scope of the right to health, the collective face of the right to health, the operating of direct damage prevention within the Argentinean legal system and the role of the judiciary in defending, promoting and protecting human rights.This case still remains unresolved to this day. We at FUNDEPS are hoping for a favourable ruling under this framework and that the right to health be protected, urging the Government of the City of Buenos Aires to respect Human Rights Covenants, the National Constitution, the autonomous city of Buenos Aires Statute and the local legal framework.


In Colombia there was a request for nullification of two circulars of the Colombian Superintendency of Industry and Commerce (SIC), which regulates the display of tobacco products. The main argument is that articles 14, 15 and 16 of the 2009 Colombian law 1335 impose a general prohibition on the publicity and promotion of tobacco. The display of tobacco products (regulated by the circulars) is a form of this promotion, for which it should be banned. Adding to this domestic regulation, on 9th July 2008 the WHO framework agreement on tobacco control was enforced, incorporating the possibility of international responsibility of Colombia.

Alongside FIC Argentina, FUNDEPS submitted an amicus curiae brief with the objective of supporting this request to nullify the circular letters of the Superintendence of Trade of Colombia, emphasising how the display of tobacco products is used throughout the entire region as a clear form of marketing. References to the impact of these techniques on health are also incorporated within the analysis, particularly concerning the level of initial consumption in children and adolescents as well as the impediment of cessation in adult smokers.The document carried out a study of the international legal framework which implements the highest standards of the right to health and in particular those documents that specifically categorise the display of products as a form of publicity. In the same way, arguments frequently used by the tobacco industry were presented and answered; arguments with the objective of opposing those measures which tend to restrict these market techniques and aim to guarantee better protection of the right to health. Finally, scientific evidence was enclosed, with respect to positive impacts of this policy type.

At FUNDEPS we celebrate the collaborative efforts of civil society organisations, which seek to ensure adequate health protection, in particular against the tobacco epidemic. In this regard, we trust that the circular letters will be declared void by the Council of State and that it serves as a background record so that the region advances in legal frameworks that duly protect the human right to health.

More information:

Amicus Curiae brief submitted in Argentina

Amicus Curiae brief submitted in Colombia


Juan Miguel Litvachkes

Gianella Severini

Translated by: Samantha Pearton

FUNDEPS was called by the University of Medellín to take part in an Amicus Curiae presented to the Constitutional Court of Colombia. The case is about adoption by homosexual couples and supports an appeal made by the Legal Clinic of General Theory of Law in Colombia.

Convinced that decisions made by the Constitutional Court of Colombia transcend borders, FUNDEPS carried out this citizen intervention because the case was considered to be hugely relevant to the fundamental right of children and adolescents to have a family, and to ensuring the principle of equality and non-discrimination is respected.

The position taken was primarily based on the guiding principle of the best interests of the child, laid out in the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Widely acknowledged is the right of the child to grow up in a family, from which it receives stability, protection, assistance, happiness, love and understanding. It is the state’s responsibility to ensure this right is fulfilled, and when necessary provide adoption.

As family patterns established in the middle of the last century have changed and evolved alongside society, a proper understanding of the current reality before us is required. We are witnesses to a time in which the whole of society has become a complex and diverse entity, and this brings with it different family make-ups which deserve equal treatment, consideration and respect without any sort of distinction.

FUNDEPS made reference to numerous studies that show there are no differences between the upraising of children by homosexual or heterosexual couples. The only characteristic that differentiates them is that children show a greater tolerance towards sexual choices and a greater flexibility regarding gender roles in household chores. Also, examples were taken from Argentinian case law which shows that, prior to the 2010 legislative reform on marriage, there are precedents of adoptions without prejudice against the gender or sexual orientation of the adoptive parent.

In short, it was important to note that when the preamble of the CRC says the child should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding, for the full and harmonious development of its personality, it refers to any family, not solely one made up of a heterosexual marriage. The physical, mental, intellectual and emotional development of a child is not conditioned by composition of its family, but by the qualities and ability of those who fulfil the role of parents.

More information:

– FUNDEPS – Intervención cuidadana – Corte Constitucional de Colombia



Translation by Rachel Neal