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Clinical Programs - International Human Rights

Colombia: Free Education Case

The Colombian Constitutional Court announced its decision May 31, 2010 that all public primary schools in the nation must cease charging students tuition fees. The decision follows strategic litigation supported by the Colombian Coalition for the Right to Education, Camilo Ernesto Castillo, legal advisor to the Coalition and researcher and fellow at the University of Rosario, Esteban Hoyos, J.S.D. student at Cornell Law School and professor at EAFIT University Law School in Medellin, and Cornell Law School's International Human Rights Clinic.

Colombian Constitutional Court Documents

  • Constitutional Court Decision C-376/2010 (Spanish) (English)
  • Constitutional Court Press Release, May 31, 2010 (Spanish)
  • Petition: Case No. D-7993 of 2009 (Spanish)
  • Amicus Briefs:
  • Cornell International Human Rights Clinic, Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice & Human Rights, and Association for Investigation and Social Action (NOMADESC) (Spanish) (English)
  • Department of National Planning (DNP) (Spanish)
  • National Pedagogical University of Colombia (UPN) and National Institute for University Pedagogy (INSP) (Spanish)
  • Colombian Ombudsman's Office (Defensoría del Pueblo) (Spanish)
  • Luis Eduardo Pérez Murcia, Economist and Professor of the University of Los Andes, Bogotá (Spanish)
  • National Ministry of Education (MEN) (Spanish)

Regulations Implementing the Constitutional Court Case

  • Medellin (Spanish)
  • Florencia (Spanish)
  • Pereira (Spanish)
  • Soledad, Atlantico (Spanish)

News Stories about Constitutional Court Decision

  • First, By Law, Free Education, El Mundo, Aug. 4, 2010
  • Free Primary Education is Obligatory: Constitutional Court, EAFIT News, July 28, 2010 (Spanish)
  • Educating all in Colombia: A court ruling opens the door to free, compulsory primary schooling, Los Angeles Times, June 7, 2010 (English)
  • Public Primary Education must be Free: Constitutional Court, La Patria, May 20, 2010 (Spanish and English)
  • Court: Colombia must provide free and compulsory education, Colombia Reports, May 20, 2010 (English)
  • Primary Public Education will have to be free: Court, La Opinión, May 20, 2010 (Spanish & English)
  • Primary Education in Colombia shall be mandatory and free: Constitutional Court, Caracol, May 19, 2010 (Spanish & English)
  • Constitutional Court mandated that primary public schools be free and compulsory, Noticias RCN, May 19, 2010 (Spanish)

Related Articles

  • Sital Kalantry, Jocelyn E. Getgen & Steven Arrigg Koh, Enhancing Enforcement of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights Using Indicators: A Focus on the Right to Education in the ICESCR, 32 Human Rights Quarterly 253 (2010) (English)
  • Melissa Del Aguila, Jocelyn Getgen, Esteban Hoyos & Sital Kalantry, Right to Free Education, Comunidades Semana, May 21, 2010 (Spanish)