REPORT Nº 39/08* PETITION 56-98 ADMISSIBILITY CARLOS AND PABLO MÉMOLI ARGENTINA July 23, 2008 I. SUMMARY 1. On February 12, 1998, Mr. Carlos Mémoli and his son, Pablo Carlos Mémoli, (hereinafter "the petitioners" or “the alleged victims”) lodged a petition on their own behalf with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter "the Commission", "the Inter-American Commission" or "the IACHR") against the Republic of Argentina (hereinafter the “State,” the “Argentine State” or “Argentina”) for alleged violation of Article 8 (right to a fair trial) and Article 13 (right to freedom of thought and expression) of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter “the Convention” or “the American Convention”). The petitioners and alleged victims alleged that they were convicted for having reported to the officers of a mutual association in San Andrés de Giles the allegedly irregular sale by the Governing Committee of said association of niches in the local cemetery. They also allege that said criminal action, which culminated in their conviction, was decided without due process. 2. The State alleged that the alleged victims did not adequately exhaust domestic remedies and that the petition before the IACHR is limited to contesting the result of a judicial dispute over private issues between Messrs. Mémoli and the plaintiffs. It also alleged that the alleged victims had access to all judicial remedies available in Argentine law and that the criminal sanction imposed complies with the provision of Article 13(2) of the American Convention, since it is expressly and previously established in law and constitutes subsequent imposition of liability to protect the plaintiff’s right to honor and reputation. 3. Without prejudging the merits, the IACHR concluded in this report that the petition is admissible since it meets the requirements set forth in Article 46 of the American Convention. The Commission decided to notify the parties of the decision and to continue its consideration of the merits of the alleged violation of the rights to freedom of thought and expression (Article 13) and to a fair trial (Article 8) enshrined in the American Convention, in conjunction with the general obligations enshrined in Articles 1(1) and (2) of said instrument. The Commission also decided to publish this decision and to include it in its Annual Report to the OAS General Assembly. II. PROCESSING BY THE COMMISSION 4. The petition was lodged with the Executive Secretariat of the Inter-American Commission on February 12, 1998, and forwarded to the State on December 21, 2001, setting a period of two months for reply, in accordance with Article 30(3) of the Rules of Procedure of the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights then in force. 5. On January 23, 2002, the State requested an extension in order to submit its reply, which was granted by the Executive Secretariat on February 6, 2002. In communications of February 21, March 26, and April 17, 2002, the State forwarded its reply to the petition, whose relevant parts were forwarded to the petitioners on June 27, 2002.