REPORT No. 21/18
DANIEL URRUTIA LAUBREAUX
February 24, 2018
On December 5, 2005, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the
Inter-American Commission,” “the Commission,” or “the IACHR”) received a petition presented by the Center
for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) and Daniel Urrutia Laubreaux (hereinafter “the petitioner”)2 alleging
that Chile (hereinafter “the Chilean State,” “the State,” or “Chile”) was internationally responsible to the
detriment of Daniel Urrutia Laubreaux.3
The Commission approved Admissibility Report 51/14 on July 21, 2014.4 On August 15, 2014,
the Commission notified the parties of the report and made itself available to help them reach a friendly
settlement. However, both parties did not express interest in doing so. The parties were given the time provided
for in the Rules of Procedure to submit additional comments on the merits. All the information received was
duly transferred between the parties.
The petitioner alleged that the State violated the right to freedom of expression of the alleged
victim—who held the position of guarantee judge in the city of Coquimbo—when the Supreme Court of Justice
of Chile ordered the application of a disciplinary sanction because of an academic paper he presented during a
course on human rights in which he criticized the stances taken by the Judicial Branch during the Chilean
dictatorship. The petitioner held that the disciplinary proceeding also failed to comply with a series of due
process guarantees, such as the right to defense, impartiality of the disciplinary authority, and the principle of
presumption of innocence.
The State maintained that an administrative process within the Judicial Branch was applied to
the alleged victim that respected all due process guarantees. Specifically, it stated that the sanction was applied
after conducting a serious investigation and that the alleged victim had opportunity to appeal it. Consequently,
it stated that the case did not involve any violation of the rights of Mr. Urrutia.
Based on the considerations of fact and of law, the Inter-American Commission concluded that
the Chilean State is responsible for the violation of the rights enshrined in articles 8(1), 8(2)(b), 8(2)(c) (fair
trial), 9 (principle of legality), 13(2) (freedom of thought and expression), and 25(1) (judicial protection) of the
American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter the American Convention” or “the Convention”), in
conjunction with the obligations established in articles 1(1) and 2 of the Convention, to the detriment of Daniel
Urrutia Laubreaux. The Commission made the corresponding recommendations.
1 Conforme a lo dispuesto en el artículo 17.2 del Reglamento de la Comisión, la Comisionada Antonia Urrejola Noguera, de
nacionalidad chilena, no participó en el debate ni en la decisión del presente caso. Pursuant to the provision of Article 17.2 of the Rules
of Procedure of the Commission, Commissioner Antonia Urrejola Noguera, a Chilean national, did not participate in the debate or in the
decision of this case.
2 Later, in a letter dated August 13, 2012, CEJIL indicated it wished to withdraw as the petitioner and representative and
identified IDHEAS as the new representative. In a letter dated September 18, 2013, the alleged victim appointed Fabián Sánchez Matus as
his representative. A letter dated September 1, 2015, stated that Javier Cruz Angulo Nobara and José Antonio Caballero Juárez had been
appointed as representatives. Lastly, Fabián Sánchez Matus was again appointed as representative.
3 Due to an error in admissibility report 51/14 of the IACHR, the name of the alleged victim was spelled Daniel Urrutia Labreaux
rather than Daniel Urrutia Laubreaux.
4 IACHR. Report No. 51/14. Case 12,955. Daniel Urrutia Labreaux. July 21, 2014.