ORDER OF THE
INTER-AMERICAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS*
OF MARCH 11, 2020
CASE OF DACOSTA CADOGAN V. BARBADOS
MONITORING COMPLIANCE WITH JUDGMENT AND
REIMBURSEMENT OF THE VICTIMS’ LEGAL ASSISTANCE FUND
HAVING SEEN:
1.
The Judgment on preliminary objections, merits, reparations and costs (hereinafter
“the Judgment”) delivered by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (hereinafter “the
1
Inter-American Court” or “the Court”) on September 24, 2009. The Court declared the
international responsibility of the State of Barbados (hereinafter “the State” or “Barbados”)
for the violation of the rights to life and to personal integrity of Tyrone DaCosta Cadogan.
These violations were declared due to the imposition of the mandatory death penalty on the
said victim who was convicted in May 2005 of the crime of murder, as established in section
2 of the Offences Against the Person Act of 1994. This law established that any person
convicted of murder would be sentenced to, and suffer, death. On that matter, the Court
considered that the mandatory imposition of the death penalty, mechanically and generally
for all persons guilty of murder, violated the prohibition of the arbitrary deprivation of the
right to life, since it did not allow to individualize the sentence in conformity with the
characteristics of the crime, as well as the participation and degree of culpability of the
accused, and, furthermore, it did not restrict its application to the most serious crimes. In
addition, the Court declared that the State did not comply with the obligation to adopt
domestic legislative measures regarding the rights to life and to judicial protection, given
that it maintained, per se, and also applied to the victim, section 2 of the Offences Against
the Person Act, and because section 26 of the Constitution of Barbados prevented judicial
scrutiny over section 2 of the Offences Against the Person Act. Lastly, the Court established
that the State violated the victim’s right to judicial guarantees because, in a criminal
proceeding that could culminate in the death penalty, Mr. DaCosta was not guaranteed the
adequate means for the preparation of his defense. In this regard, it was verified that the
victim’s mental health was never fully evaluated during the criminal proceedings against
him, even though evidence and arguments were submitted concerning alleged alcohol
dependence and mental disorders that, if verified, could have allowed for certain mitigating
circumstances to be taken into account in the determination of the punishment.
2.
The Court established that its Judgment constitutes by itself a form of reparation
and, in addition, ordered the State certain reparation measures (infra consideranda 1 and
3).

*
Judge Eduardo Vio Grossi did not participate in the deliberation and signing of this Resolution for reasons of
force majeure.
1

Cf. Case of Dacosta Cadogan v. Barbados. Preliminary objections, merits, reparations and costs. Judgment
of
September
24,
2009.
Series
C
No.
204.
The
complete
text
is
available
at:
http://www.corteidh.or.cr/docs/casos/articulos/seriec_204_ing.pdf. The Judgment was notified on October 20,
2009.

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