Promoting Human Rights-Based Access to Justice: Lessons from the Maguindanao Massacre


by Libertas

This is a legal research paper seeks to examine the framework of the Philippine justice system’s reliance on the doctrine of “presumption of regularity in the performance of official functions by public officers” which has resulted in the undue dismissal of many cases involving gross violations of human rights. As an alternative to the use of the aforesaid doctrine as a framework for deciding cases involving public officials, this paper proposes the application of the concept of “Command Responsibility” and the adoption of the rights – based principle of state accountability in cases of gross violations of human rights, with the end in view of broadening access to justice by victims. Using the Maguindanao Massacre as a case study, this paper will also prescribe the groundwork for coordinative efforts on legislating command responsibility (of both state and non state actors) and recommending greater accountability of public officers.

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CHR 2010 Libertas – Lessons from Maguindanao Massacre

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