Practice Relating to Rule 100. Fair Trial Guarantees
Section C. Presumption of innocence
Colombia’s Basic Military Manual (1995) provides that in both international and non-international armed conflicts, civilians benefit from the right to be presumed innocent.
Colombia’s Instructors’ Manual (1999) provides: “Any person is presumed innocent until he is judicially declared guilty.”
Colombia’s Law on the Disciplinary Regime of the Armed Forces (2003) states: “The addressees of the present rules who are accused of a disciplinary offence must be presumed innocent until their responsibility is legally determined by a final judgment.”
Colombia’s Criminal Procedure Code (2004) states:
Presumption of innocence and in dubio pro reo. Any person must be presumed innocent and must be treated as such while there is no definite judicial decision on his or her criminal responsibility.
… Any doubt which arises must be dealt with in favour of the accused.
[emphasis in original]
In 2005, in the Constitutional Case No. C-203/05, the Plenary Chamber of Colombia’s Constitutional Court stated:
Criminal prosecutions of minors must strictly comply with the minimum constitutional and international norms found in (i) Article 44 of the Constitution [and] (ii) the Beijing Rules or “the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice” … They all include standards that must be complied with as part of the Colombian domestic legal framework, as expressly stated in Article 44 of the Constitution according to which children are entitled to the totality of rights found in international instruments.
The Court also found:
Rule 7.1 [of the “Beijing Rules”] provides a list of minimum procedural guarantees to be respected in all cases involving the prosecution of minors for violating criminal law: “Basic procedural safeguards such as the presumption of innocence … shall be guaranteed at all stages of the proceedings”.