ORDER OF THE
INTER-AMERICAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
OF NOVEMBER 20, 2015
CASES OF HILAIRE, CONSTANTINE AND BENJAMIN ET AL.
AND OF CAESAR v. TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
MONITORING COMPLIANCE WITH JUDGMENT
HAVING SEEN:
1.
The Judgments on merits, reparations and costs delivered by the InterAmerican Court of Human Rights (hereinafter “the Inter-American Court” or “the
Court”) on June 21, 2002 1, and on March 11, 2005 2, in the cases of Hilaire,
Constantine and Benjamin et al. and Caesar, respectively, both against the Republic of
Trinidad and Tobago (hereinafter “the State” or “Trinidad and Tobago”). In the
Judgment of the case of Hilaire, Constantine and Benjamin et al., the Court declared
that the State was responsible for the violation of the right to life, the right to personal
integrity, the right to personal liberty, the right to a fair trial and the right to judicial
protection protected in the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter “the
American Convention” or “the Convention”), in detriment of 32 persons convicted of
murder and sentenced to death penalty under the Offences Against the Person Act,
which provided said mandatory penalty for such offence 3. In the Judgment in the case
of Caesar, the State was held responsible for the violation of the right to personal
integrity, the right to a fair trial and the right to judicial protection in detriment of Mr.
Winston Caesar, for the execution of a 20 year prison sentence with hard labor and 15
strokes of the “cat-o-nine tails” in 1998. This, after being convicted in 1992 of the
offense of attempted rape, in accordance with the Offences Against the Person Act 4. In
both cases, the Court determined that its Judgments constituted, per se, a form of
1

Cf. Case of Hilaire, Constantine and Benjamin et al. v. Trinidad and Tobago. Merits, Reparations and
Costs. Judgment of June 21, 2002. Series C No. 94. The complete text of this Judgment is available at:
http://www.corteidh.or.cr/docs/casos/articulos/Seriec_94_esp.pdf. The present Judgment was notified on
July 5, 2002.
2
Cf. Case of Caesar V. Trinidad and Tobago. Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of March 11,
2005.
Series
C
No.
123.
The
complete
text
of
this
Judgment
is
available
at:
http://www.corteidh.or.cr/docs/casos/articulos/seriec_123_esp.pdf. The present Judgment was notified on
April 8 2005.
3
The 32 victims attended the internal procedures for the review of their convictions; in some cases
the guarantees of due process were violated due to certain factors such as the undue delay of the process,
the absence of legal assistance and other types of specialized assistance. In addition, the detention of all the
victims was perpetrated under extreme overcrowding and poor hygiene conditions. By the time of emission
of the Judgment, 30 of the 32 victims were still prisoners in Trinidad and Tobago waiting to be hanged, with
exception of Joey Ramiah, who had already been executed, and Wayne Matthews, whose sentence was
commuted.
4
The rules that authorized the corporal punishments in Trinidad and Tobago were set out in two laws,
being the “Corporal Punishment Act” one of these. On February 5, 1998, Mr. Caesar was subjected to 15
lashes with “the cat-o-nine tales” in pursuance of his sentence. By the time of this Court´s Judgment, Mr.
Caesar had fulfilled 13 of the 20 years of his conviction. Also, the Court established that the State failed to
comply with the rules on detention conditions, given that between the years of 1991 and 1999, Mr. Caesar
was subjected to overcrowding, poor hygiene conditions, lack of light and ventilation, and inadequate
medical treatment.

Select target paragraph3