Case 24/2017: Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal of Justice (Tribunal Supremo de Justicia de Venezuela or TSJ)
Dear Prosecutor, Public Defender, Ambassador and Jury Members of the International Buddhist Ethics Committee (IBEC) & Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights (BTHR), concerning the Case 24-2017 against the Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ), on April 12, 2017, it is put on record that the trial of the Buddhist Tribunal has been concluded in order to analyze the Human Rights violation by the accused. This Case has been carried out as a consequence of “Case 21: Captain Strauss”.
After analyzing the presentation of the case and the validation of the enormous amount of evidence, there has been a unanimous vote of 6 members of the Jury, all of whom have sentenced the Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) as “Responsible” for the serious crimes of VIOLATION OF THE DEMOCRATIC CONSTITUTIONAL STATE OF LAW AND VIOLATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW. The actions of Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) when carrying out a coup d’état have produced enormous damage against the Democracy and Justice of the Venezuelan people, but also a huge damage against the Rule of Law at the international level by systematically breaching the global standards in matter of Human Rights. These terrible acts demonstrate that members of the Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) have violated both the Human Rights treaties and the ethical precepts of Buddhist Spirituality, which is the constitutional guardian of the world. Although during the framework of this trial the Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) has theoretically annulled the coup d’état, giving back the faculties of immunity and the creation of laws to the Venezuelan Parliament, actually the Coup continues to exist because the Venezuelan Tribunal systematically annuls all Parliament’s decisions when declaring it in contempt. In addition, the Venezuelan Tribunal must be held accountable for having violated International Law and the very Venezuela’s Constitution inspired by the values of the liberator Simon Bolivar, thus forgetting that the behavior of judges must be ethically exemplary anytime and anywhere. In this sense, the Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights establishes that the Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) is not only disrespectful to the International Courts, but also has a lack of impartiality, lack of independence or separation of powers, lack of transparency, lack of legitimacy, a presence of precariousness and presence of nepotism.
The international legal reform carried out by the Buddhist Law has as its core the defense of fundamental rights, and therefore exercises its Ethical Power as a supreme body to oversee compliance with the human rights Treaties, which are systems of juridical order that are superior to any local Constitution. Maitriyana also opened up to the defense of other fundamental rights that constitute an external human rights source, since its pluralism expands the fundamental rights by additionally incorporating the rights of non-human beings. By doing this task, the Buddhist Law interprets all existing instruments, also validating the Customary Law of the Tribal Peoples. Precisely the Maitriyana’s ethics committees and tribunals of conscience are international tribal courts whose function is to resolve cases of violations of Buddhist Ethics and Fundamental Rights contemplated in both the human rights treaties and the ancient practices of aboriginal peoples. In the constitutional relationship between countries with international Treaties, a president or a local court under no circumstances is able to interpret the international functions of the Buddhist Tribunal, primarily because they do not have the competence to do so, since there would be a radical lack of knowledge in the way how Buddhist Law works, which is as legitimate as the International Human Rights Law. When Maitriyana finds a violation against Buddhist Ethics or Fundamental Rights it can condemn a subject, an institution or a State, and there should be no material or legal obstacle that leaves this Ethical Judgment without effect, otherwise, a situation of injustice and impunity would be perpetuated. The Buddhist Civilization of ancient times developed an expansive jurisprudence of the collective rights of the spiritual commune (sangha), enforcing the ethical judgments of Buddhist Law against the State and opening the doors to a tripartite republican relationship in which the spiritual commune was privileged (Sangha) as an Ethical Power or supervisory organ of State Power and People’s Power. Therefore, Maitriyana reminds that Buddhist Spirituality is the oldest human rights and animal rights defending movement in the history of humankind. This juridical and republican status that the spiritual commune (sangha) had in Buddhist Civilization of the past undoubtedly allows and legitimizes the Buddhist Law’s international capability to investigate and prosecute cases of human rights violations, such as crimes against humanity, having the duty to protect democracy, equality, the right to peace and also freedom of expression and information of peoples. In this sense, the Maitriyana nourishes the processes of fulfillment of the political, economic, cultural and environmental rights. Buddhist Law rules judgments that imply a justifiable evolution of Law, which is a development that would be the envy of great jurists of history, like Marcus Tullius Cicero, Jeremy Bentham, John Marshall and Hans Kelsen. Although individuals, institutions and states may decide not to comply with the ethical rulings of the Maitriyana courts, this does not necessarily de-legitimize the Ethical Power of the spiritual commune (sangha), which has been de facto transformed into the Supreme Court of Planetary Justice, and at the same time has replaced the UN as an ethical and constitutional guardian of the fundamental rights of all humanity. This Power comes undoubtedly from the life impulse of the Free and Enlightened Beings (Arhats-Bodhisattvas) running through the veins of the Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights. Although States have not voluntarily submitted themselves to comply with the judgments of Buddhist Law, they have certainly committed themselves internationally to comply with fundamental rights through Human Rights Treaties and Conventions which are within the legal framework of the Maitriyana. In this pluralistic understanding, the Buddhist Law considers that if its faculties are the defense of human dignity and fundamental rights, then any State that is governed by Human Rights Treaties is indirectly under the special and international jurisdiction of the courts of Maitriyana. After making a legal interpretation based on Tribal Law and the doctrine of international human rights organizations, the Buddhist Law interprets it has legitimacy and validity to keep and develop its legal institutions at the national and international level. Thus, even if the binding character of the decisions of Maitriyana’s international courts are denied, States have a moral and humanitarian obligation to circumscribe themselves to decisions on those matters in which Buddhist Law has competence. This reinterpretation regarding the reception and enforceability of the fundamental rights contemplated in international human rights treaties shows the obligations that the States have to the ethical judgments of Maitriyana as the maximum defender of human dignity. The Buddhist Law is part of the republican structure of the ancient Buddhist Civilization, whose form of co-government was composed of the authorities of the Executive Power, the People and the Spiritual Commune (Sangha). Consequently, States cannot fail to respect the decisions of the international courts of Maitriyana by claiming that these are invalid, since Buddhist Law is a millennial institution that precedes the very existence of States. Nor can States fail to respect these ethical judgments by claiming that Maitriyana does not have legitimacy in the present, for at present this community heads the supreme organ of the Global Ethical Power that is the United Buddhist Nations Organization. Moreover, in case States fail to respect the ethical judgments of Buddhist Law, they would be ignoring the role of spiritual masters as representatives of human dignity. Therefore, States have a legal duty to observe and comply with international human rights Treaties, not being able to invoke local provisions to breach their duties, which must always be progressively in favor of persons. Thus, the States have the obligation to refrain from dictating acts that may frustrate the purpose and end of the human rights protected by the Maitriyana. States then have a legal duty that their actions do not conflict with the values, principles or attributions of Buddhist Law, which develops architectural principles of a new civilization of human rights, which would not only come from the international rule of Law but also from the constitutional and customary rules of the spiritual community (sangha). The international courts of Maitriyana not only have a collaborative or complementary nature of the domestic Law of countries, but also have a status of transcending instance that can review the decisions of the local States and Courts when they may be violations of Ethics and Human Dignity, which is an absolute competence of Buddhist Law. Although Maitriyana’s international courts do not have binding power to revoke decisions of States, they can certainly supervise them ethically, judging them when States do not take the necessary measures to remedy violations of fundamental rights analyzed according to the principles of Ethics and Human Dignity. Buddhist Law uses non-restrictive or non-literary interpretive guidelines with respect to international human rights instruments, which allows it to develop peak knowledges (satoris) that are always expansive, virtuous and humanitarian. Consequently, the use of international human rights Treaties, which have a higher hierarchy than national laws, validates the Maitriyana international courts as a supreme trans-sovereign body. The broad, dynamic and virtuous utilization and interpretation made by Buddhist Law on international treaties and conventions make that its decisions have a rank of supralegality. Indeed, Maitriyana’s international courts have been conceived as institutions that are used to apply on States a view based on the sources of International Human Rights Law, including the ethical jurisprudence of Buddhist Law. This ethical control of conventionality states that all organs of a State that are subject to human rights Treaties or Conventions must comply with and apply the decisions of international courts defending or protecting such Treaties. It is here where the Maitriyana in a contemporary way exercises an Ethical Power of supervision or control of conventionality, which paradoxically was the old role of the spiritual commune (Sangha) in the Buddhic Civilization, being able to review the issuance and application of legal norms and administrative decisions of the State, only by granting validity to any action that is compatible with Ethics and Human Dignity. This interpretation on the legitimacy of Buddhist Law results in an evolution in the institutionality and legal security of the international community, strengthening and advancing the achievements gained in the defense of human rights and fundamental freedoms built on the basis of two thousand six hundred years of peaceful struggle and social commitment. Hence, the collective right of the spiritual community (sangha) to its juridical self-determination is effective and non-illusory, being broadly protected by international human rights Treaties and also by the defense of fundamental rights in the local Constitutions. It results also fundamental the international duty of States toward the right to Truth and the right of review of the victims of human rights violations. The international courts of Maitriyana recover the ancient role of the spiritual community (Sangha) during the Buddhic-Civilization, acting as an Ethical Power or Supreme Ombudsman, a guardian of the fundamental rights of sentient beings, so that the individual and collective rights owned by the spiritual community (sangha) are obligatory for all the States of the world.
For two thousand six hundred years the Buddhist Law was constituted as a revolutionary social movement that gradually developed a Civilization system throughout Southeast Asia, providing a response to the lack of values that suffers much of society. Indeed, in the Buddhic Civilization system, the spiritual commune (sangha) functioned as a Republican Ethical Power, overseeing the righteous behavior of both the people and the government. This Ethical Power regulating the executive, legislative, judicial and electoral powers is the historical origin of the great spiritual renewal that the Maitriyana currently leads, promoting a political, economic, cultural and environmental revolution. This process of transformation of the human community is a process of Liberation, Egalitarianism and Fraternity, raising the voice of mutual support to save the world from the onslaughts of immorality, which affects the internal and external world. Therefore, the Buddhist Law provides an ethic that acts from the field of what is personal and the linkages to the field of what is social, institutional and political. Faced with a world with war crises, social injustice, ignorance of values and environmental corruption, the Maitriyana expresses that it seeks the democratic development of human life, promoting the participation of every human being in decision making on the welfare of the entire planet. Certainly, humanity will not be able to survive and evolve if political, economic, cultural and environmental actions are not guided by the ethical principles of Buddhist Law, which develops its activity not to seize power or to enrich itself selfishly but with the aim of serving the international community. In the Maitriyana’s Analytical-Existential-Libertarian Discourse (Buddha-Dharma-Sangha) it is noted that the loss of the essential values that characterize contemporary civilization is a process of increasing desacralization of life, so that it is fundamental seeking to transform the ways of cultural transmission and production, abandoning materialism, consumerism and superficialism in pursuit of the advent of the ethics of solidarity, mutual support and detachment. In seeking to displace the psychic and social evils of greed, hatred and deceit, the Buddhist Law creates and produces a new human being. This ethical revolution of Maitriyana is the development of spiritual values, reaffirming once again the millenarian republican Power that the spiritual commune (sangha) played in the ancient Buddhist Civilization: the Ethical Power. Therefore, the Buddhist Tribunal would not only be a new creation in Asia, but would also exist a precedent in America, because the great revolutionary Simon Bolivar proposed to develop a Moral Power as a social institution directed both to the formation of a responsible citizenship and to ensure the ethical exercise of public offices. Thus, the proposal of Buddhist Law as an Ethical Power in republican States results no stranger to the historical experience of the peoples of East and West, which thanks to Siddharta Gautama and Simon Bolivar know that it must be avoided to be dominated by deceit and to be degraded by vice. Without the presence of this Republican Ethical Power, governments are neither free nor enlightened, falling into corruption, warmongering and manipulation. To restore the old form of ethical and altruistic civilization, the Maitriyana is proposed as a Supranational Power that educates and keeps humanity in the field of ethical and spiritual values. In short, the spiritual masters are the only ones who reflect deeply on the future of humanity, while at the same time working daily for their event. Natural resources are often a source of economic development for States, so that spiritual resources, that are the Free and Enlightened Beings (Arhats-Bodhisattvas), are essential sources for enabling a cultural growth and evolution of the world. Buddhist law, as the supervisor of the international community, is then a true ethical revolution that offers the antidote to the main poisons of society. Although corruption in Latin America, war in America, xenophobia in Europe, marginalization in Africa, terrorism in the Middle East, authoritarianism in Asia and depredation in Oceania seem to be structural behaviors of contemporary civilization, the Maitriyana teaches righteous actions and adequate measures to prevent or evade these evils, cultivating the seeds of a better world for the sake of present and future generations.
Although the mass media often transmit a world that has lost the values of contemplation, knowledge and solidarity, the Buddhist Law develops the vision of Gautama and Bolivar on the Republican Ethical Power in order to build a more equal, democratic and harmonious society. This vision is drawn daily from the experience and reflection of the spiritual masters of the last two thousand six hundred years, who constitute the main paths towards the realization of the Supreme Purpose (Dharma) of humanity. This effort of Maitriyana is linked to the system of Buddhic Civilization in which there was a form of republican co-government between the king, the people and the spiritual commune (sangha). This shows that the future always has precedents in the past. Like the Vatican during the medieval era, in the contemporary world, the United Nations has attempted to exercise the role of Supervisory Ethical Power proposed by Gautama and Bolivar, although undoubtedly both the Vatican and the UN have failed in this mission by maintaining a system of corruption and impunity. Buddhist Law, instead, has the fundamental ethical guidelines to be able to guide the nations of the world with purity in pursuit of a common action between different States and organizations in favor of the collective interests of humanity and Mother Earth (Pachamama), avoiding any kind of corruption, warmongering and deceit. This Ethical Power should not be installed, since it actually has already existed for two thousand six hundred years. Maitriyana’s ethical commitment is nothing more than the Discourse attempting to reveal the true nature of society, by regulating the conduct of the international community by nurturing and becoming transparent the available mechanisms of Ethical Power that already exist in the governments of the world. The Ethical Power of Buddhist Law encompasses politics, economics, culture and environment, having universal jurisdiction over the defense of the rights of all sentient beings. Therefore, this rectification and evolution of individual and social behaviors must be supported, strengthening the foundations of the Path toward a new human life. Maitriyana’s tradition takes care of values and virtues, because its work and spirit of service promotes and develops the growth of a healthy and educated society. The strong engagement of Buddhist Law with the ethical and spiritual values strengthens mechanisms of Ethical Power that ensure the fulfillment of the righteousness in the subject and in society.
In conclusion, the Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights has the Purpose (Dharma) to save all sentient beings through the Supreme Law, which implies a direct criticism of corrupt Courts attempting against Justice. Therefore, it is established that the Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) is violating human rights, especially violating the constitutional democratic State of Law. Undoubtedly, national and international Courts should be working together in creating a civilization governed by the Rule of Law, thinking of bringing righteousness to society instead of creating ways to corrupt it. Without an ethical and spiritual guidance the Courts become corrupt and partial, leading the sacred practice of Justice through a Pathway of totalitarian and antidemocratic perversion whose consequences are no less than the perversion of the Social Contract. Only by practicing the Way of Ethics and Liberty, as prescribed by Master Gautama, the Courts will not only be able to avoid damaging human dignity and fundamental rights, but they also will be able to develop Justice as a form of social evolution. In this way, the Case on the Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) is a great teaching for the international community, proving perfectly that if Courts operate lacking of ethics and righteousness – as happens in the Justice of dictatorial countries – then the Courts become an evil in the world, because they only provide greed, hatred and deceit instead of providing solidarity, empathy and Truth. Instead, when Courts are guided by the Ethical Power of human rights and the Buddhist Spirituality, then they remain free of all destructive power, being able to help the human being is liberated by means of righteousness.
It is also recorded that during the framework of the Ethical Judgment against the Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ), the government of such country has violently suppressed manifestations carried out by the citizens in protest of the antidemocratic situation. The Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights demands respect for the civil and political rights of demonstrators in order to meet peacefully and express freely without discrimination on the grounds of political orientation, so that any kind of police repression against public political demonstrations should be prohibited. This type of human rights violations are also being carried out in another country in Latin America, because in Argentina violent repressive techniques are also being used and even the right to strike by teachers seeking a living wage is being attacked. All this shows that in both Venezuela and Argentina there is a lack of understanding about what a democratic constitutional State of Law really is, since democracy is associated only with the act of voting rather than associating democracy with ethical principles that put limits on governmental Power by intervening in decision-making. In short, true democracy does not happen in the illusions of electoral processes, but when the people perform an ongoing ethical supervision of government decisions, because otherwise democracies are perverted into dictatorships of majorities.
Following the Path of Master Gautama, who developed the most righteous and restorative Justice system in the history of humankind, the Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights oversees that national and international courts not to pervert and commit violations against ethics and human rights, so that the Venezuelan Supreme Tribunal of Justice (TSJ) has been sentenced as “Responsible” for VIOLATION OF THE DEMOCRATIC CONSTITUTIONAL STATE OF LAW AND VIOLATION OF INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW.
With spirit of reconciliation (maitri),
Master Maitreya Samyaksambuddha
President and Spiritual Judge of the International Buddhist Ethics Committee (IBEC) and Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights (BTHR)