Inter-American Court of Human Rights
Case of Usón Ramírez v. Venezuela
Judgment of November 20, 2009

(Preliminary Objections, Merits, Reparations, and Costs)

In the case of Usón Ramírez,
the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (hereinafter the “Inter-American Court”, “the
Court” or “the Tribunal”), formed by the following judges:1
Diego García-Sayán, President in excercise;
Sergio García Ramírez, Judge;
Manuel E. Ventura Robles, Judge;
Margarette May Macaulay, Judge, and
Rhadys Abreu Blondet, Judge;
present, and also,
Pablo Saavedra Alessandri, Secretary, and
Emilia Segares Rodríguez, Deputy Secretary,
pursuant to Articles 62(3) and 63(1) of the American on Human Rights (hereinafter “the
American Convention” or “the Convention”) and Articles 29, 31, 37(6), 56 and 58 of the
Rules of Procedure of the Court2 (hereinafter “the Rules of Procedure”), pronounces the
following Judgment.
On July 25, 2008 pursuant to Articles 51 and 61 of the American Convention, the
Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the Inter-American
Commission” or “the Commission”) submitted an application to the Court against the
Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (hereinafter “the State” or “Venezuela”). The application
was based on the petition presented on May 23, 2005 before the Inter-American
Commission by Mr. Héctor Faúndez Ledesma, then joined to the Impact Litigation Project of
Washington College of Law (WCL) of the American University (hereinafter “the
representatives”).3 On March 15, 2006, the Commission declared the application was
For reason of force majeure, the President of the Court, Judge Cecilia Medina Quiroga, and Judge
Leonardo A. Franco did not participate in the of iberation and signing of the present Resolution. The Vice-President,
Judge Diego Garcia-Sayan, stepped up as President, in conformance with Article 5(1) of the Court Rules of

According to Article 72(2) of the Inter-American Court Rules of Procedure which came into effect on March
24, 2009, “[t]he cases underway will continue to be transmitted in accordance with the Rules, with the exception of
those which have requested a hearing at the time the Rules came into effect, to which those cases shall continue to
be transmitted in accordance with the prior Rules”. In this sense, the Rules of the Court mentioned in the present
case, correspond to the instrument approved by the Tribunal on its XLIX Regular Period of Sessions, celebrated
from November 16 to 25 of 2000, and was partially reformed by the Court on LXI Ordinary Period of Sessions,
celebrated from November 20 to December 4, 2003.


On January 23, 2007, the Impact Litigation Project of the Washington College of Law (WCL) of American
University submitted a brief, wherein it requested the Commission allow them to be co-petitioners in the present

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