REPORT N° 88/01 CASE 12.147 WINSTON CAESAR TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO October 10, 2001 I. SUMMARY 1. On May 6, 1999, the Inter- American Commission on Human Rights (“the Commission”) received a petition from Lovell, White, Durrant, a firm of Solicitors in London, United Kingdom (“the Petitioners”) against the Government of Trinidad and Tobago (“Trinidad and Tobago” or “the State”). The petition was presented on behalf of Mr. Winston Caesar, who is incarcerated at Carrera Convict Prison, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. The petition states that on January 10, 1992, Mr. Caesar was convicted of attempted rape at the Port of Spain Assizes, Trinidad and Tobago. He was sentenced to life imprisonment and fifteen strokes of the cat o’nine tails, with a recommendation that he serve at least 20 years including hard labour. 2. The petition alleged that the State is responsible for violations of Mr.Caesar’s rights under Articles 2, 5, 8 and 25 of the American Convention on Human Rights (the “American Convention” or the “Convention”). It stated in particular that the sentence of 15 strokes of the cat o’nine tails to which the victim was subjected and the conditions of his incarceration both represent breaches of Article 5 of the Convention, that Mr. Caesar’s inadequate representation at trial and the delay in bringing him to trial and in determining his appeal are violations of Article 8 of the Convention, and that the lack of effective recourse to a court or tribunal for protection of Mr. Caesar’s right to be tried without undue delay represents a breach of Articles 2 and 25 of the Convention. 3. As of the date of this report, the Commission had not received a response from the State to Mr. Caesar’s petition. 4. As set forth in this Report, having examined the contentions of the parties on the question of admissibility, and without prejudging the merits of the matter, the Commission has decided to admit the claims in the present petition pertaining to Articles 2, 5, 8 and 25 of the Convention and continue with the analysis of the merits of the case. II. PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE COMMISSION 5. Following receipt of the Petitioner’s petition, on May 13, 1999 the Commission transmitted the pertinent parts of the petition to the State. The Commission requested the State’s observations on the petition within 90 days as established by the Commission’s prior Regulations.1 Also by note of the same date, the Commission informed the Petitioners that the pertinent parts of their petition had been transmitted to the State and that they would be advised of any reply that the State might make. 6. In a communication dated November 22, 1999, the Petitioners submitted additional information regarding Mr. Caesar’s conditions of detention. The Commission transmitted the pertinent parts of that communication to the State in a communication dated November 29, 1999, requesting that information relevant to the case be provided within 30 days. 7. By communication of December 6, 1999, the Government acknowledged receipt of the Commission’s communication dated November 29, 1999. In a note dated July 11, 2000, the Commission reiterated to the State its previous request for information relevant to the case within 30 days of the Commission’s communication. As of the date of the present report, the Commission has not received any information or observations from the State concerning Mr. Caesar’s petition. 1 During its 109th special session in December 2000, the Commission approved the Rules of Procedure of the InterAmerican Commission on Human Rights, which replaced the Commission’s prior Regulations of April 8, 1980. Pursuant to Article 78 of the Commission’s Rules of Procedure, the Rules entered into force on May 1, 2001 1

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