requested by the Court.1 Therefore, by not confirming those testimonial statements in
their definitive list, the President understands that the representatives have withdrawn
B) Expert evidence offered by the Inter-American Commission
The Inter-American Commission offered the expert opinion of Leandro Despouy,
on “the guarantees of due process of law in impeachment proceedings and the limits of
political review on the Judiciary, in particular, the determination of the grounds for the
removal of judges.” The expert would also refer to “the obligation to provide legal
remedies so that judges may challenge the legality of their removal, in particular
judges of the High Courts.” In its definitive list, the Commission stated that the expert
opinion proposed refers to issues of the inter-American public order which are raised in
this case. Furthermore, the Commission considered that this case will “allow the Court
to develop its jurisprudence as regards the independence of the Judiciary, and at the
same time address specific aspects of mechanisms for the dismissal of judges, such as
standards of due process in impeachment proceedings, and legal remedies available to
challenge a dismissal and guarantee the exercise of human rights.” In that sense, the
Commission considered that “the expert opinion will provide the Court with technical
elements and a comparative perspective that will contribute to its analysis of the case
and will enable it to establish and strengthen relevant standards on the independence
of the judiciary.”
The State challenged the expert evidence offered by the Commission given that
“Leandro Despouy was the Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and
Lawyers for the United Nations Human Rights Council from August 2003 until August
2009.” In that regard, the State pointed out that “the former Rapporteur issued a
report with recommendations to be followed by the Ecuadorian State, assuming the
role of “judge” regarding domestic matters that were occurring at that time, that is, he
has already ruled on the case previously. In other words, he participated in a case that
is now in litigation, in his role as Rapporteur, and therefore already has an opinion and
does not enjoy impartiality in the case.”
In response to this objection by the State, the expert witness pointed out that
“among the main activities [he] carried out in 2005 as Special Rapporteur on the
Independence of Judges and Lawyers, were three visits to the State of Ecuador. The
serious judicial and institutional crisis affecting that country prompted a mission in
March 2005 and another follow-up mission in July 2005. Those missions were carried
out in [his] capacity as an independent expert, in a role entrusted by the United
Nations, without being a party to the dispute.” Thus, the expert witness concluded that
“the observations and recommendations issued by the Rapporteur do not constitute
factors of partiality if the circumstances, purposes and criteria taken into account in its
preparation are clearly objective and general.”
In this Order, the President will first analyze whether the proposed object of Mr.
Despouy’s statement is related to the inter-American public order. If this turns out to
be so, the President will then examine the objection filed by the State.


Cf. Case of Vera et al. v. Ecuador. Order of the President of the Inter-American Court of Human
Rights of December 23, 2010, Considering para. 8, and Case of Castillo González v. Venezuela. Order of the
President of the Inter-American Court of January 31, 2012, Considering para. 7.


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