C-077 de 2017. Relative Legislative Omission. Zones of Rural, Economic and Social Development 


Claim of unconstitutionality against multiple parts of the Law 1776 of 2016, whereby are created the Zones of Rural, Economic and Social Development — ZRESD (Zonas de Interés de Desarrollo Rural, Económico y Social — ZIDRES). In two different lawsuits presented independently, the claimants pleaded charges based on procedural flaws and material or substantive defects. Regarding the first matter, the plaintiffs adduced that the sessions in the Fifth Commission (Comisión Quinta) and Plenary Session of the Chamber of Representatives (Plenaria de la Cámara de Representantes) took place simultaneously, they also argued that the title of the project was changed without the public and nominal procedure required. Finally, they adduced that there was not a Prior Consultation (Consulta Previa), which is a prerequisite needed to be satisfied before the sanction of the project. In relation to the second type of charges, it was questioned the regressive way the project regulated the waste lands, the violation to the right to access property, the rupture of the principle of legal reservation in matters of adjudication of waste lands and the violation to freedom of association.


The Court concluded that the legislative process whereby the ZRESD were created didn’t require the realization of a Prior Consultation with ethnic communities. Nevertheless, declared that the identification, delimitation and approbation of these zones must be preceded by a process of information, concert and coordination with Town Councils (Consejos Municipales). Furthermore, determinated that this model of development doesn’t disregard the principle of progressivity of social rights, neither the right of association, but decided to declare unconstitutional some measures adopted by the Law 1776 of 2016, as they were contrary to the right to access agricultural property.