took a statement from him without a lawyer present and also that in the course of the investigation he was not formally notified of a proceeding against him. 8. He said that on October 24, 2000, while serving in the City of Loja, on the border with Peru, one of his superiors notified him verbally that he was summoned to appear at a hearing before the Disciplinary Tribunal in the city of Esmeraldas, without telling him what the hearing would concern. He said that in order to attend the hearing he had to make an 18-hour trip to Esmeraldas and that because of the improvised nature of the notice, he had to find a lawyer upon arriving at city. 9. He said that he was not informed of the charges against him until he reached the police station where the hearing was to be held, and that the lawyer only had a few minutes to review the file and prepare his defense. He said that his lawyer moved for the hearing to be postponed but his motion was denied. He said that he was charged with having discharged a firearm, assaulting his former live-in partner, and insolence to his superiors. 10. He said that after the hearing, the Disciplinary Tribunal issued a judgment in which it ordered his dismissal from the police under causes 6 and 26 of Article 64 of the Disciplinary Regulations of the National Police. He said that a series of due process violations were committed in the context of the proceeding. 11. He said that he was unable to appeal the judgment because the Disciplinary Regulations of the National Police provided that the decisions of the Disciplinary Tribunal were not open to appeal, nor did he have recourse to the law courts because the Organic Law of Administrative Litigation (Ley Orgánica de lo Contencioso Administrativo) prohibited members of the security forces from taking their cases to the Court of Administrative Litigation. 12. The petitioner said that on December 15, 2000, he filed an application for constitutional relief with the Third Civil Court of Esmeraldas. However, that application was denied on January 18, 2001, with the argument that the amparo remedy did not apply to decisions of judicial officials. He said that he appealed against the decision, but that his appeal was refused on March 16, 2001, with the argument that he had waived the right to appeal merely for having moved that the hearing be postponed. 13. He said that in April 2001, he filed an unconstitutionality suit with the Constitutional Court against the decision to dismiss him. However, the Constitutional Court refused the suit on August 29, 2001, with the sole argument that the Disciplinary Tribunal was competent to suspend or discharge police personnel. 14. As to the admissibility of the petition, the petitioner says that it was lodged within six months after the final notice putting an end to the proceeding, which was the judgment of the Constitutional Court notified on August 29, 2001, and that that was the remedy that had to be exhausted, since it was the means for challenging the constitutionality of any administrative decisions adopted by a state authority. The petitioner added that he was not seeking to use the IACHR as a fourth instance, as the state claimed, but rather that it verify if the proceedings against him were conducted in accordance with the guarantees recognized by the Convention. 15. As regards legal arguments, he held that the State had violated his right to a fair trial. Specifically, he said that his right to a hearing by a competent, independent, and impartial tribunal had been violated because the Disciplinary Tribunal was part of the executive branch and its members were serving officers appointed by high-ranking commanders, which affected the Tribunal's impartiality. 16. He said that the State violated his rights to prior notification in detail of the charges against him and to adequate time and means for the preparation of his defense, because he was not notified of the proceeding against him in a timely manner, and when he was notified, his defense counsel did not have enough time to prepare his defense.