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Avon Global Center for Women and Justice at Cornell Law School - Green Background

Country Details

Costa Rica

  • Sentencia 12142, Expediente 08-009174-0007-CO, Costa Rica, Sala Constitucional de la Corte Suprema de Justicia, 2008.
    The Plaintiff sued a local prosecutor's office, alleging he was illegally detained and held, arbitrarily violating his constitutional right to personal liberty. Plaintiff's wife had filed a complaint against him with at the prosecutor's office, alleging spousal abuse, although she did not ask that he be detained. Plaintiff was asked to report to the prosecutor's office, at which time he was detained without being given reason for his detention. The prosecutors' office argued that the plaintiff was only held for eight hours, well within the 24 hours a prosecutor is allowed to hold someone without bringing charges. The Court rejected Plaintiff's allegations, finding that the plaintiff's rights had not been violated because his arrest was based on a suspected violation of Article 22 of the Criminal Law against Violence toward Women. The Court emphasized that spousal abuse was a matter not only of individual concern, but of societal concern. 
  • Sentencia 12224, Expediente 08-010638-0007-CO, Costa Rica, Sala Constitucional de la Corte Suprema de Justicia, 2008.
    Defendant asked the Court to release him from a three-month "preventative" jail sentence he was serving for sexually, physically and emotionally abusing his wife. He argued that he no longer posed a danger to his wife, thus the "preventative" jail measure was unnecessary. The Court disagreed, holding that the threat the defendant posed to his wife had not ceased. 
  • Sentencia 15547, Expediente 08-009127-0007-CO, Costa Rica, Sala Constitucional de la Corte Suprema de Justicia, 2008.
    Defendant in a criminal prosecution challenged the constitutionality of Articles 22, 25 and 27 of the Criminal Law Against Violence Toward Women, arguing that the law's vague language allowed for arrests and convictions to be made based on vague, non-specific allegations and was thereby inconsistent with the Costa Rican Political Constitution, the American Convention on Human Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Court held Article 22 and 25 to be unconstitutional, but upheld Article 27. The ruling had retroactive power.
  • Sentencia 17692, Expediente 08-015875-0007-CO, Costa Rica, Sala Constitucional de la Corte Suprema de Justicia, 2008.
    Criminal defendant, who was arrested for violating a protective order his wife had against him (thereby violating Article 43 of the Criminal Law Against Violence Toward Women), asked the Court to release him from a two-month "preventive" jail sentence, given that his wife was dropping the charges against him. The Court refused to grant the request, saying that despite the wife's refusal to cooperate, the prosecutor had sufficient probable cause to keep the defendant under arrest. 
  • Sentencia: 01383, Expediente: 06-011087-0007-CO, Costa Rica, Sala Constitucional de la Corte Suprema de Justicia, 2007.
    The Court ordered defendant, a hospital, to rehire a pregnant worker who was fired one week after informing the hospital of her pregnancy. The Court reasoned that the short period of time between plaintiff's announcement and her firing established a causal relationship between her pregnancy and her firing, thereby violating plaintiff's constitutional right to remain employed while pregnant. 
  • Sentencia 14572, Expediente: 05-002606-0007-CO, Costa Rica, Sala Constitucional de la Corte Suprema de Justicia, 2005.
    Plaintiff, a pregnant school teacher, asked the Court to order the General Director of Personnel of the Department of Public Schools to rehire her after her employment was not renewed when she became pregnant. Plaintiff had been employed in that position for six years. Plaintiff argued that failing to rehire her violated her right to employment stability and motherhood. The Court ordered the defendant to rehire the plaintiff and to provide her with paid maternity leave. 
  • Sentencia 10341, Expediente: 04-006937-0007-CO, Costa Rica, Sala Constitucional de la Corte Suprema de Justicia, 2004.
    Plaintiff claimed that she was dismissed from her employment as a psychologist because she was pregnant, thereby violating her constitutional rights. The Court disagreed, finding that her position was of a temporary nature, her employer replaced her with a more qualified psychologist, and that plaintiff's dismissal was not based on her pregnancy.
  • Sentencia 09076, Expediente 02-006271-0007-CO, Costa Rica, Sala Constitucional de la Corte Suprema de Justicia, 2002.
    Plaintiff challenged the constitutionality of Articles 8, 9(a), 9(c), 10 and 19 of the University of Costa Rica's Regulation against Sexual Harassment, arguing that they were inconsistent with the Costa Rican Political Constitution, the American Convention on Human Rights and the International Pact of Civil and Political Rights. The Court rejected the Plaintiff's challenge, affirming the constitutionality of the provisions.
  • Proposed Amendments to the Naturalization Provisions of the Constitution of Costa Rica, Costa Rica, Inter-American Court of Human Rights, 1984.
    Challenge to gender-based nationality law.