Practice Relating to Rule 100. Fair Trial Guarantees
Section E. Necessary rights and means of defence
Colombia’s Instructors’ Manual (1999) provides that during the investigation and the trial, “any accused has the right … to be assisted by a qualified lawyer of his own choosing or by an ex-officio
Colombia’s Criminal Procedure Code (2004) states:
In the course of criminal proceedings, once a person has been charged with an offence, he or she has the right …:
e) to be heard, assisted and represented by his or her own lawyer or a lawyer nominated by the State,
g) to communicate in private with his or her lawyer before appearing before the authorities,
i) to have reasonable time and adequate means to prepare his or her defence. In exceptional cases, he or she may request an extension which must be duly justified and necessary for the hearings which he or she must attend,
j) to request, know and to dispute evidence.
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 right to counsel … shall be guaranteed at all stages of the proceedings”.