San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rica creates new court of appeals

After Dec. 9, the Courts of Penal Annulment in Costa Rica will become the Courts of Appeals. The change also will bring about a new process for appealing criminal convictions and the creation of a court of appeals for juvenile offenders, too.

A statement from the judicial branch indicated that the new appeals process conforms to the American Convention on Human Rights to which Costa Rica is a signatory and which guarantees those convicted of a crime the right to appeal their conviction to a higher court

Appeals courts will be located in San José, Cartago, San Ramón and Santa Cruz in the same locations as the former Courts of Penal Annulment.

Judge José Manuel Arroyo Gutiérrez, president of the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court (Sala IV) said the new appeals process, which allows for an examination of all parts of the previous trial and sentencing, constitutes a greater guarantee of the rights of citizens in the criminal justice system.

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