Argentina. He added that he was subject to preventive detention between August 3, 1999 and September 11,
2002. Mr. Romero Feris argued, both before the IACHR and when invoking domestic remedies, that
appointments of judicial authorities involved in his cases were politically motivated; that through multiple
irregularities, judges and courts were specially set up to try his case for political ends. The criminal
proceedings and the appeals filed in the cases on which the IACHR has documentation are set out in the Facts
of the Case section.
With regard to the right to personal liberty, the petitioner alleged that Mr. Romero was
subject to preventive detention between August 3, 1999 and September 11, 2002. He argued that the
duration of the detention, three years and one month, was unreasonable in view of the fact that Law 24.390
on Preventive Detention Periods establishes a maximum period of two years for this type of precautionary
measure. He indicated that although Mr. Romero questioned the length of his preventive detention, no action
was taken in this regard.
With regard to the right to judicial guarantees and judicial protection, the petitioner
alleged that the criminal trial against Mr. Romero did not comply with due process - because the State
violated the principle of a natural judge through the irregular appointment of the First Instructing Magistrate
dealing with his case. He added that this judge was appointed to the bench despite the fact that he was ranked
in ninth place against other candidates for the position and that therefore there were eight better-qualified
applicants before him.
In addition, the petitioner alleged that the composition of the Second Criminal Chamber in
charge of his case was also irregular. He argued that this court was set up by the Federal Intervention
Authority "in commission", contrary to the provisions of Article 142 of the Constitution of the Province. He
maintained that said rule establishes that the court should be appointed by the Executive Branch with the
agreement of the Senate. He indicated that despite challenging composition and recusing the judges of the
Chamber, his request was rejected in limine. The petitioner pointed out that one of the judges of the Chamber,
after convicting Mr. Romero, sent an email to various addressees - including the National Senate - in referring
to the sentence issued and to the alleged victim in offensive terms, calling him a "shady character" and
holding him responsible for "having plunged this Province into poverty and indigence."
He indicated that the Supreme Court of Justice of the Province of Corrientes, which also
heard his case, was constituted in an irregular manner because five members of the tribunal should have cast
a vote, and not three, as was the case in this judgment.
The Commission observes that from the remedies filed other arguments connected with the
alleged lack of impartiality of the authorities judging the case emerge. Such arguments will be detailed in the
section on the facts of the case.
The petitioner alleged that Mr. Romero filed various appeals challenging the aforementioned
due process violations, indicating that remedies were not adequate or effective and failed to address the
situation. He also claimed that his right to have the sentence reviewed as adversely affected by the National
Supreme Court’s decision on the inadmissibility of his claim.
Position of the State
The State indicated that it is not responsible for the violations alleged by the petitioner. It
alleged that the criminal proceedings against Mr. Romero comported with due process and were carried out
within a reasonable time.
The State indicated that each of the violations alleged by the petitioner were considered by
the domestic courts, which fully analyzed the arguments and evidence presented. It argued that the mere fact
that Mr. Romero is dissatisfied with the decisions taken by the domestic courts cannot be considered an
infringement of the rights to judicial guarantees and judicial protection