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October 11, 2021

Guatemalan Constitutional Court: Foreclosing Judicial Review of Allegations of Corruption in Selection of Judges


In response to widespread reports of corruption in proceedings to select high court judges in Guatemala, the ABA Center for Human Rights has monitored the judicial nomination process in order to promote objective and merit-based proceedings. Most recently, the Center monitored the proceedings in early 2021 to select new Constitutional Court magistrates. Several constitutional actions were filed in Guatemala challenging alleged irregularities in those procedures. Before these challenges were resolved by the existing magistrates, new magistrates were appointed. These new magistrates subsequently rejected challenges to the procedures by which they were nominated. These challenges were rejected on procedural grounds prior to review of the claims on their merits. This report reviews the Constitutional Court’s decision to reject challenges filed by Guatemalan attorney, Alfonso Carrillo, and finds that the dismissal of those challenges was not consistent with relevant national or international standards, raising concern that the claims were dismissed in an effort to shield the magistrates from inquiries into the legitimacy of their nominations.


This report was prepared by staff and consultants of the American Bar Association Center for Human Rights. The views expressed herein represent the opinions of the authors. They have not been reviewed or approved by the House of Delegates or the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association and, accordingly, should not be construed as representing the position of the Association or any of its entities.