65 Venezuelan Civil Society Organizations Release Statement in Response to TSJ Ruling

Yesterday, a coalition of 65 Venezuelan civil society groups released a statement in response to the dissolution of the National Assembly. This is an English translation of their statement, “Nueva sentencia del TSJ consagra un golpe al parlamento venezolano.”

Sentence No. 156, released around midnight on March 29, by which the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice (Tribunal Supremo de la Justicia, TSJ) assumes all the powers of the National Assembly or delegates them to whomever the court decides, amounts to the dissolution of the legislature by judicial means in Venezuela

There is no constitutional provision that allows the judiciary, which is appointed by elected officials, to assume the functions of the National Assembly, which directly represents the population.

The Constitutional Chamber has issued dozens of decisions that have gradually stripped the National Assembly of its legislative, regulatory, investigative, and designating functions, even suspending parliamentary immunity before finally assuming legislative functions for itself.

The legislature is a fundamental pillar of democratic institutions, as it is a space for participation and expression of the different groups that make up the country. It is the space in which elected representatives, as well as organizations and members of civil society can debate and discuss different proposals to create legislation and public policies. In this sense, this measure not only violates the constitutional order, but also violates the right of citizens to participate in public affairs.

We call on the Supreme Court of Justice and the Executive to cease ignoring the Constitution, which has been made evident after the publication of the most recent sentences of the Constitutional Chamber which allow the application of measures and actions that undermine the constitutional fabric and break the democratic order in Venezuela, and reaffirm the absence of the rule of law in Venezuela, consolidating a dictatorial regime.

Finally, we urge once again that the necessary corrective measures be taken to reverse any decision that violates constitutional norms, ignores the authority of the popular vote represented in the elected National Assembly, and that deepens the country’s withdrawal from a democratic system, with respect for fundamental guarantees of human rights, and in order to restore democracy and the rule of law, beginning by restoring and respecting the functions of the National Assembly.

The following Venezuelan civil society organizations sign this statement:

A.C María Estrella De La Mañana

A.C. Nueva Esparta En Movimiento

A.C. Radar De Los Barrios

Acceso A La Justicia

Acción Campesina

Acción Solidaria

Amigos Trasplantados de Venezuela AC

Asamblea de Educación

Asociación Civil Mujeres en Línea

Asociación De Profesores de la Universidad Simón Bolívar APUSB

Asociación Venezolana de Mujeres

Asociación Venezolana Para La Hemofilia

Aula Abierta Venezuela

Banco Del Libro

Cedice Libertad

Centro de Aninación Juvenil

Centro de Derechos Humanos de la Universidad Católica Andrés Bello (CDH-UCAB)

Centro de Estudios Sociales y Culturales

Centro de Justicia y Paz – Cepaz

Civilis Derechos Humanos

Coalición Cambio Climático 21

Codevida) Coalición Por El Derecho a aa Salud y La Vida

Comisión de Derechos Humanos de la Facultad de Ciencias Jurídicas y Políticas de la Universidad Del Zulia

Comisión de Derechos Humanos de La Federación de Colegios de Abogados de Venezuela Capítulo Táchira

Comisión de Derechos Humanos de La Federación de Colegios de Abogados de Venezuela del Estado Apure

Comisión de Derechos Humanos de La Federación de Colegios de Abogados de Venezuela -Capítulo Mérida

Comisión para los Derechos Humanos del Estado Zulia

Convite AC

Correo del Caroní

Espacio Humanitario

Espacio Público

EXCUBITUS Derechos Humanos en Educación

Federacion Nacional de Sociedades de Padres Y Representantes -Fenasopadres-

Frente en Defensa eel Norte ee Caracas y Asamblea De Ciudadanos de Candelaria

Funcamama

Fundación TAAP

Fundamujer

Fundeci

Instituto Venezolano de Estudios Sociales Y Políticos INVESP

IPYS Venezuela

Laboratorio De Paz

Llamado A La Conciencia Vial

Médicos Unidos Carabobo

Movimiento Vinotinto

Observatorio De Derechos Humanos de La Universidad de Los Andes

Observatorio Global de Comunicación y Democracia

Observatorio Hannah Arendt

Observatorio Venex

Observatorio Venezolano de Conflictividad Social (OVCS)

Observatorio Venezolano de Prisiones

OPCION Venezuela AC.

Programa Venezolano de Educación- Acción en Derechos Humanos (Provea)

Proiuris

Promoción Educación y Defensa en DDHH (PROMEDEHUM)

Sinergia

Sociedad Hominis Iura (SOHI)

Stopvih

Transparencia Venezuela

Un Mundo Sin Mordaza

Una Ventana A La Libertad

Unión Afirmativa de Venezuela

Unión Vecinal para la Participación Ciudadana

Veedores por la Educación Aragua