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Regional Justice: a step forward

Thursday, October 31, 2013


A case before the Central American Court of Justice could help boost the often slow process of regional integration.

Failing to recognize a judgment relating to a dispute over the right to use a trademark, is the most recent case of a litigant bringing a case to the Central American Court of Justice , which like other regional institutions , sometimes struggle to fulfill its mission

The jurisdiction of the Court in a case of alleged non-compliance a member state of the System for Central American Integration (SICA in its Spanish initials), raises an interesting issue in reinforcing the principle of due process and the rule of law in the region.

Cervecería Hondureña, a subsidiary of the SAB Miller brewery based in South Africa, has argued that the State of Honduras, through its judiciary, exceeded its powers to allow an appeal in the constitutional court, against a ruling that already was a decided issue (“res judicata”).

Licores de Honduras for its part had sought a remedy, after receiving a judgment against it in Honduras’ highest court of appeal, relateing to the right to use a trademark.

The Central American court has the authority to decide a case involving the powers of a SICA member country , and a resident of a Member State.

Based in the Nicaraguan capital of Managua, the Court is part of SICA, which was created by the Protocol of Tegucigalpa in 1991 by the six countries of the isthmus, followed by Belize in 2000, and the Dominican Republic earlier this year.

However, Costa Rica and Panama probably would refuse to recognize a decision of the regional tribunal, not having ratified the statutes of the court in their respective legislatures, though both countries signed its founding document.

Fore more information, please consult Gustavo León-Gómez at [email protected] or (504) 2221-1002.