REPORT No. 1/15
CASE 12,798
MERITS
DANIEL GERARDO GÓMEZ MURILLO, AIDA MARCELA GARITA SÁNCHEZ ET AL.
COSTA RICA
JANUARY XX, 2015

I.

SUMMARY

1.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the Commission”, “the InterAmerican Commission” or “the IACHR”) received five petitions submitted by Gerardo Trejos Salas
(hereinafter “the petitioner”)1 on December 14, 2004, on behalf of Daniel Gerardo Gómez Murillo and Aída
Marcela Garita Sánchez (P 1368-04); on December 27, 2004, on behalf of Roberto Pérez Gutiérrez and Silvia
María Sosa Ulate (P 16-05); on June 28, 2006, on behalf of Luis Miguel Cruz Comparaz, Raquel Sanvicente
Rojas, Randall Alberto Torres Quirós and Geanina Isela Marín Rankin (P 678-06); on October 17, 2006 on
behalf of Carlos Edgardo López Vega and Albania Elizondo Rodríguez (P 1191-06); and on May 3, 2007, on
behalf of Miguel Acuña Cartín and Patricia Núñez Marín (P 545-07).
2.
The petitioners brought their complaints against the State of Costa Rica (hereinafter “the
State”, “the Costa Rican State” or “Costa Rica”) alleging violation of the American Convention on Human
Rights (hereinafter “the American Convention”, “the Convention” or “the ACHR”) resulting from Judgment No.
2000-02306 of March 15, 2000, delivered by the Constitutional Chamber of the Costa Rican Supreme Court,
which prohibited the practice of in vitro fertilization by declaring Presidential Decree 24029-S of February 3,
1995 unconstitutional. As a consequence of that ruling, the five couples were unable to receive the treatment
they wanted in order to be able to circumvent a variety of infertility conditions. The State, for its part, argued
that it had not committed any breach of the American Convention because the case does not state facts that
tend to establish a violation of human rights guaranteed therein. The State asserted that the Constitutional
Chamber regulated the right to reproduce by stating that the right to reproduce must be subordinate to the
absolute right to life, as it would be a contradiction to allow the possibility of a life at the cost of other human
lives which is, in its view, what happens when the technique of in vitro fertilization is practiced.
3.
During the admissibility phase, the five petitions were joined under petition number
1368/04. On November 1, 2010, the Commission issued its admissibility report 156/10, in which it declared
the five petitions admissible, which were then registered as case number 12,798.
4.
Recalling that both organs of the inter-American human rights system have already
definitively determined that the absolute ban on the practice of in vitro fertilization is incompatible with the
American Convention, the Inter-American Commission found that the preset case concerns the same issues of
fact and of law and, therefore, established the international responsibility of the Costa Rican State by
reference to the analysis of the law done in its merits report 85/10 regarding case 12,361 - Artavia Murillo et
al., and in the Judgment on Preliminary Objections, Merits, Reparations and Costs that the Inter-Court of
Human Rights (hereinafter “the Inter-American Court” or “the Court”) handed down on November 28, 2012,
in the same case. On that basis, the Commission made the respective recommendations.
II.

PROCESSING WITH THE COMMISSION

5.
The five petitions that are the subject of this report were received on December 14, 2004 (P
1368-04), December 27, 2004 (P 16-05), June 28, 2006 (P 678-06), October 17, 2006 (P 1191-06) and May 3,
2007 (P 545-07). The processing from the time the petitions were presented to the admissibility decision is
explained in detailed in admissibility report 156/10 of November 1, 2010.2 Once the five petitions were
1

The IACHR learned of the petitioner’s death while the case was being processed.

2 See, IACHR, Report No. 156/10, Petition 1398/04, Admissibility, Daniel Gerardo Gómez, Aida Marcela Garita et al., Costa Rica,
November 1, 2010.

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