REPORT No. 51/14
PETITION 1398-05
ADMISSIBILITY
DANIEL URRUTIA LABREAUX
CHILE1
July 21, 2014

I.

SUMMARY

1.
On December 5, 2005, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the
Inter-American Commission” or “the Commission”) received a complaint filed by the Center for Justice and
International Law, through its representative Mrs. Liliana Tojo and Mr. Pedro E. Díaz R., on behalf of Mr. Daniel
Urrutia Laubreaux (hereinafter “Daniel Urrutia” or “the alleged victim”), against the Republic of Chile
(hereinafter the “Chilean State” or the “State”). In a communication dated August 13, 2012 the Center for
Justice and International Law communicated its decision to withdraw as a petitioner in this case.
Subsequently, on September 18, 2013, the alleged victim appointed as his representative Mr. Fabián Sánchez
Matus (hereinafter “the petitioner”). The petition claims that the right to a fair trial has been violated and the
right to freedom of expression has been affected by the imposition of a disciplinary sanction against Daniel
Urrutia, Supervisory Judge in the city of Coquimbo, because he sent the Supreme Court of Justice an academic
paper he had written in which he criticized that court’s performance.
2.
In this regard, the petitioner maintains that the State of Chile is responsible for violating the
rights enshrined in Articles 8 (right to a fair trial), 13 (freedom of expression), and 25 (right to judicial
protection) of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter “the Convention” or “the American
Convention”) in connection with Articles 1.1 (obligation to respect rights) and 2 (domestic legal effects) of that
same instrument. As of the date of the decision in this report, the IACHR has not received observations from
the State regarding the petition submitted on behalf of Mr. Daniel Urrutia.
3.
Without prejudging the merits of the case, after analyzing the parties’ positions, and in
compliance with the prior requirements under Articles 46 and 47 of the American Convention, the Commission
decides to declare the petition admissible for purposes of examining the alleged violation of the rights of Daniel
Urrutia as enshrined in Articles 8, 9, 13, and 25, consistent with Articles 1.1 and 2 of the Convention. The
Commission also decides to inform the parties of this decision, to publish it, and to include it in its Annual
Report to the General Assembly of the OAS.
II. PROCEEDINGS BEFORE THE COMMISSION
4.
The Commission received the petition on December 5, 2005 and assigned it number 1389-05.
On August 25, 2006, it received additional information submitted by the petitioner. On May 11, 2007, the
Commission forwarded the pertinent parts of the petition to the State, asking that it submit its response within
a period of two months. It repeated that request on February 11, 2009, September 13, 2011, and finally on
October 25, 2013. However, as of the time of the decision in this report, the State has not responded to the
request for its observations.
III.

POSITION OF THE PARTIES

A.

Position of the petitioner

5.
The petition was submitted because the government’s Judicial Branch, through the Supreme
Court of Justice, had imposed a disciplinary sanction on Daniel Urrutia, in his capacity as a Supervisory Judge
in the city of Coquimbo, for sending the Supreme Court of Justice an academic paper he wrote in which he
criticized the performance of the Judicial Branch.
1 Commissioner Felipe González, a Chilean national, did not participate in the deliberations nor in the decision regarding this
petition, in accordance with the provisions of Article 17.2 a) of the Commission’s Rules of Procedure.

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