Justice on Pause: Report on the First 100 Days of the Constitutional Chamber of El Salvador

17 Feb 2022

On May 1, 2021, the Legislative Assembly of El Salvador irregularly removed all the judges and alternate judges of the Constitutional Chamber of El Salvador and imposed a new direct appointment system to confirm their replacements.

To detect continuities, setbacks and advances in the Chamber's already consolidated jurisprudential criteria, the Due Process Foundation (DPLF), DTJ Foundation, the Inter-American Institute of Constitutional Law, and Cristosal Foundation supported an investigation that documented the initial stage of the Chamber’s operation following May 1, 2021. This investigation also analyzed the administrative measures and internal organization of the Chamber that had a real or potential impact on the protection of the rights and freedoms of Salvadorans, particularly on the right of access to justice. 

In terms of management and administration, the report “Justice on Pause: Report on the First 100 Days of the Constitutional Chamber of El Salvador” documents the transfer of key personnel, serious setbacks in terms of transparency and accountability of the Chamber, an anomalous decrease in the number of incoming cases, and an exponential increase in outgoing cases (terminated cases), the majority of which were liminal rejections.

In terms of jurisprudence, this report detects some continuities and, above all, serious setbacks, and a worrisome deterioration in the quality of jurisprudence, either because (i) they establish more rigorous requirements for access to jurisdiction, (ii) they weaken the control of constitutionality, (iii) they reduce the content of fundamental rights or their guarantees, or (iv) they hinder or block the challenge of public acts for violations of the Constitution. Constitutional jurisprudence prior to May 1, 2021 was used as a parameter of comparison. 


Read the executive summary here.

The full report is available only in Spanish here.