PERU – Superior Court of Justice dismisses lawsuit to annul CDD-Perú’s legal status 

On 26 May 2022, the Superior Court of Justice of Lima declared unfounded, in all its extremes, the lawsuit filed by the association Centro Jurídico Tomás Moro against Católicas por el Derecho a Decidir Perú (Catholics for the Right to Decide – CDD Perú), who are dedicated to the defence of women’s human rights and the secular state.

This civil lawsuit, filed in 2019 in the Ninth Civil Court of the Superior Court of Justice of Lima, requested the nullification of the registration of CDD Perú, arguing that within the framework of the Treaty between the Vatican and the Peruvian State the group was using the term “Catholic” in bad faith.

CDD – Perú’s defence, represented by the Legal Defence Institute, showed that the claim lacked factual and legal basis, as CDD-Perú is registered in the book of legal entities of the Public Registries of Lima, fully complying with all legal requirements. They showed that up to 2019, more than 400 legal entities had been incorporated in line with civil regulations, using the term “Catholic” as part of their name or business name, yet only CDD-Perú was being challenged.

The ruling of the Court upheld the neutrality and secular basis of the Judiciary, which “cannot influence aspects related to the dissemination of ideas, qualify them and determine them as affecting subjective rights”, nor be used as a legal strategy to violate or limit the right to religious freedom, freedom of expression, to associate freely or the right to participate in the political life of the Nation.

This ruling is an important precedent for the protection of human rights organisations and activists, specifically those who support sexual and reproductive rights, who are currently victims of harassment, violence and intimidation in Peru.

For 12 years, CDD-Perú has been recognised as an organisation specialising in issues of gender and religion and as such is often asked by the media to contribute to the debate on State-Church relations regarding sexual and reproductive rights. We work with networks of activists, women’s organisations and feminist organisations in Peru for sexual and reproductive rights.

SOURCE: CDD Perú press release, 27 May 2022, via Inroads Newsletter, May 2022