Constitution of the Dominican Republic

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In addition, maternity shall enjoy the protection of the government authorities and the family shall have the right to official assistance in case of need. The Dominican state, according to the Constitution, should also stimulate the development of public credit in socially advantageous conditions, so that the Dominican family can acquire comfortable housing and live in dignified conditions.

Part of this concern for the family is reflected in the adoption of laws that protect the members of the family. Recently, laws have been promulgated on family violence and violence against minors that aim to fill the existing void on these matters. Mechanisms for protecting individual guarantees. Article 8 2 g of the Constitution establishes habeas corpus as the fundamental means of defense and protection of human rights in the Dominican Republic; habeas corpus procedures are spelled out in the Law on Habeas Corpus Law No.

This remedy seeks to correct any failure to abide by the provisions of Article 8 2 , which establishes the procedural guarantees before the courts of justice to prevent any arbitrary detention. This remedy has been designed to make it possible for one who alleges he or she has been unlawfully detained or deprived of his or her liberty, and any other person, at any time, to present a writ of habeas corpus. Habeas corpus may also be initiated sua sponte when a judge learns that a person has been unlawfully detained in his or her jurisdiction.

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The officer or person to whom a habeas corpus order has been delivered, pursuant to Article 8 of the Law on Habeas Corpus, shall present the detainee before the judge and under oath shall give a report that states: a whether he or she has in his or her custody the person on whose behalf the order has been issued; and b which authority or officer ordered him or her to receive the detainee, and pursuant to what order the detainee was taken prisoner. If he or she does not have the detainee under his or her custody, the officer or authority in question shall report: a why the detainee was released, or transferred to the custody of another official; b on what date the release or transfer occurred; and c to which official the detainee was delivered.

The judge or court before which the person deprived of liberty is brought pursuant to the issuance of a habeas corpus order shall hold the hearing, and in it shall hear from witnesses, examine documents, and consider the facts alleged and the causes for the detention. If it is shown that in effect the person is deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully, the judge or court shall immediately order his or her release.

An important point of the Law on Habeas Corpus is that no official may refuse to carry out the release order, under any pretext; it also states that if any official should oppose the order, he or she shall be punished pursuant to the criminal laws. Article 20 of this law guarantees that the person imprisoned or deprived of his or her liberty, and who has been released pursuant to a habeas corpus order, may not be detained again for the same cause.

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Recent legislative advances in the Dominican Republic. In January , the Congress of the Dominican Republic adopted the Code of the Minor, in an effort to guarantee the rights of minors, offering protection for children and adolescents. The promulgation of this law is aimed at safeguarding the physical and mental health of minors, and supporting the development of the personality in its spiritual, cultural, social, and moral dimensions.

This law determines the duties of the state and creates institutions for the protection of children, all directed by the Directing Agency of the System for the Protection of Children. Title III of this law defines the acts considered infractions committed by minors, the treatment accorded to them, the procedures, and the correctional centers.

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These Offices of the Ombudsman are part of the Public Ministry and represent the interests of minors before all authorities. In Chapter X of this report, the Commission shall analyze the situation of minors in relation to the new Code. Law on Family Violence. Another important stride in the legislation of the Dominican Republic is Law , Against Family Violence, promulgated on January 27, These provisions seek to combat all those violations committed in the family context, and which generally are not made known or are ignored.

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This law gives a social dimension to the question of domestic and family violence, traditionally treated as intimate and private in order to prevent the intervention of society in acts of domestic violence. To achieve its effective application, the law seeks the joint participation of all state and non-state institutions related to the administration of justice and the search for equality as between women and men.

In the context of the objective of eradicating family violence, special mention should be made of the creation of the Office for Women's Promotion, which is the state agency responsible for the coordination and implementation of public policies aimed at giving impetus to the integral development of women. International instruments for the protection of human rights signed and ratified by the Dominican Republic.

Inter-American system.

The Dominican Republic has ratified several instruments of the inter-American system for the protection of human rights, while it is merely a signatory of others. Furthermore, there are some instruments of the inter-American system for the protection of human rights that the Dominican Republic has yet to ratify.

In addition, the Government of the Dominican Republic has noted that it initiated the procedure to accede to the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aimed at abolishing the death penalty, on December 15, The treatment accorded international treaties under Dominican law. According to the Constitution of the Dominican Republic, the treatment accorded international provisions under Dominican law is based on the Constitution as the primary and fundamental law that sets forth the basic principles by which the state is organized and governed; international treaties are on a par with the Constitution, followed by procedural laws and regulations.

In the Dominican Republic international treaties are regulated by Article 3 2 , which provides as follows: "The Dominican Republic recognizes and applies the norms of general and inter-American International Law to the extent that its government authorities have adopted them. International treaties that have been approved by the National Congress and duly promulgated and adopted are accorded precedence over procedural laws and have the same authority as the Constitution insofar as they affect rights enshrined therein, and the treatment accorded violations of such treaties should be the same as the treatment for violations of the Constitution.

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The Commission values the efforts of the Dominican state in its support for legislative changes aimed at guaranteeing protection for the fundamental rights of its nationals as listed above. Protecting human rights, however, requires the full application of the legal standards, ensuring their realization in practice.

In the process of fully implementing such standards, the role of the judiciary and the police is fundamental, as is the existence of a civil society that can press claims for the full exercise of the rights and participate in their consolidation and expansion. Later chapters of this report will include observations and recommendations on these matters.

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Mindful of the abolition of the death penalty in its Constitution, and the declaration made upon signing the American Convention on Human Rights, which reads: "The Dominican Republic Finally, the Commission is pleased to note the recent decision of the Dominican state to accept the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights pursuant to Article 62 of the American Convention, for the purpose of ensuring more adequate protection of human rights.

The other members shall be: 1 The President of the Senate and one Senator chosen by the Senate who belongs to a party other than the Party of the President of the Senate. The Code specifies that minors are children from birth to 12 years of age, and adolescents from 13 through 17 years of age. The Commission has received information indicating that there are certain doubts regarding their application by the officials in charge of implementing them, either because they are not informed of them, or due to lack of resources for their precise application. In Chapter X the Commission will analyze the situation of women in the Dominican Republic in light of the new law and the agencies entrusted with their protection.

Judgment of the Supreme Court of Justice, of January 20, Political structure of the Dominican Republic Individual guarantees set forth in the Constitution Guarantees of Equality Guarantees of Liberty Guarantees of Security Guarantees of Property Social Guarantees Mechanisms for protecting individual guarantees For weeks the Catholic bishops, led by Cardinal Archbishop Nicolas de Jesus Lopez of Santo Domingo, promoted the pro-life article through marches, television speeches, and protests outside of government buildings and in other places.

The offensive tenor of their campaign provokes fear among the believers and outrage among the doctors. Referring to abortion supporters and the constitutional reform process, the Archbishop of Santo Domingo said on his Sunday homily:. In fact, some legislators showed no shame in admitting that they feel fear, as some local media recorded. In fact, the legal provision will increase the maternal mortality rate, since therapeutic abortion will be penalized and unsafe abortions will proliferate.

Moreover, women whose life or health is in danger as a result of a pregnancy will be unprotected, particularly low income Dominicans, who cannot afford a trip to Colombia or other country where the therapeutic abortion is legal. We have to recall that Dominican Republic is not a secular state. The Dominican Obstetric Society and the Science Academy also expressed their disagreement with the provision before its approval, and have announced their decision to call on the support of similar international organizations to apply pressure, since there still a second reading with formal promulgation by the President also required.

The current Dominican Penal Code criminalizes the abortion in all circumstances.