Court of Justice of the Andean Community

Court of Justice of the Andean Community


The Court of the Andean Community was created on May 28, 1979, by means of the signing of the Treaty of creation of the Court of Justice of the Cartagena agreement. After the ratification process of its constituent treaty, it was installed at its headquarters located in the city of Quito, Republic of Ecuador and began its activities on 2 January 1984. Later, through the Protocol of Cochabamba signed on May 28, 1996, it changed its name to “Court of Justice of the Andean Community”.

This supranational body exercises its jurisdiction over the Andean Community and is competent to know the following processes: nullity action, non-compliance action, prejudicial interpretation, resource for omission or inactivity and labor action. It also has the competence to exercise the arbitral function.
The Court of Justice of the Andean Community, in exercise of its main mission of interpreting and implementing the Andean Community legal system, on the basis of the principles of pre-eminence, immediate application, direct effect and autonomy, has contributed Substantially to the consolidation of a community of law in the subregion and, at present, it can be said that the Andean Community is an integration process that has a properly structured, orderly and institutionalized normative system.

The main documents of the Court Of Justice Of The Andean Community are:

• Statute of the Court (Estatuto del Tribunal de Justicia de la Comunidad Andina)

• Cartagena Agreement (Acuerdo de Integracion Subregional Andino “Acuerdo de Cartagena”)

• Treaty Creating the Court of Justice of the Cartagena Agreement (Tratado de Creacion del Tribunal de Justicia de la Comunidad Andina) (March 1996)

• Rules of the Court (Reglamento Interno del Tribunal de Justicia de la Comunidad Andina)

Andean Community (Comunidad Andina)

The Andean Community (Comunidad Andina), previously known as the Andean Pact or Andean Common Market, is a sub-regional economic integration organization, originally created by the Cartagena Agreement of May 26, 1969, encompassing five Latin-American States: Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela. The aim of the Andean Community is to promote a regional economic development that is balanced, harmonious and satisfactory for all members. The Cartagena Agreement was subsequently modified in 1987 by the Quito Protocol (the Andean Pact Treaty), by the Trujillo Act of March 10, 1996, and by the Protocol of Sucre signed on June 25, 1997.

The Court of Justice of the Andean Community (TJAC) is the judicial body and an integral part of the Andean Community. It was created in 1979 as the “Court of Justice of the Cartagena Agreement.” The Trujillo Act modified it into the Court of Justice of the Andean Community, and its statute was later modified by the Cochabamba Protocol signed on May 28, 1996.

The mission of the TJAC is to ensure the respect of Community law, settle disputes arising from it, and consistently interpret it. The jurisdiction of the TJAC encompasses three areas. Firstly, it may nullify decisions of the Commission of the Andean Community, a quasi-legislative organ of the Andean Community, which it may eventually find in conflict with the community legal system. Secondly, it may rule upon the complaint of a member State or the Junta (a three-member organ supervising the implementation of the community agreements) that a member State is not in compliance with Community law. Thirdly, it may render binding interpretations of Community law at the request of national judges litis pendente (preliminary rulings).

As a final remark, it should be stressed that all decisions of the TJAC are directly applicable within member States without the need of further incorporation into domestic law.