Practice Relating to Rule 100. Fair Trial Guarantees
Section G. Examination of witnesses
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 … :
k) to have a public, oral, adversarial, and impartial trial … in which the accused himself or herself or his or her lawyer may, if he or she wishes, question witnesses of the prosecution during a hearing and obtain orders that witnesses or experts who may shed light on disputed facts appear in court. If necessary, such orders may entail coercive measures.
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 confront and cross-examine witnesses … shall be guaranteed at all stages of the proceedings”.