REPORT No. 18/09
PETITION 525-04
ADMISSIBILITY
CARLOS FERNÁNDEZ GADEA
PARAGUAY
March 19, 2009
I.

SUMMARY

1.
This report is on the admissibility of petition 525-04. Proceedings were
started by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the Inter-American
Commission,” “Commission,” or “IACHR”) upon receipt of a petition on June 7, 2004,
submitted by Carlos Fernández Gadea (hereinafter “the petitioner”), and sponsored by
Antonio Fernández Gadea and Nicolás Gaola Irun, regarding the impeachment trial which
resulted in the petitioner’s removal from the post of Supreme Court Justice in the State of
Paraguay (hereinafter “Paraguay” or “the State”).
2.
The petitioner maintains that the impeachment trial which resulted in his
removal from the post of Supreme Court Justice of Paraguay violated the principle of
independence of the Judicial Branch because he and other Judges were tried based on their
judicial rulings. He indicates that during the impeachment proceedings he did not enjoy the
right to be tried by an independent and impartial tribunal, he was unable to recuse the trial
judges, he was not given sufficient time to prepare or present his defense, the ruling against
him was groundless, and he had no access to a simple and prompt recourse whereby he could
have protected those rights. The petitioner also asserts that before his impeachment trial
began a political agreement was made to remove him from office, and that other judges who
had participated in the same judicial decisions that gave rise to his impeachment were not
impeached, which constitutes a violation of his right to equal protection under the law.
3.
The State, in turn, maintains that an impeachment trial is a Constitutional
procedure established to pass judgment on members of the Supreme Court of Justice, and
that it is conducted with full respect for procedural guarantees, including the right to present
an adequate defense. The State indicates that the petitioner had to be removed from the
Court because his performance was called into question, and in order to be a member of the
Supreme Court one must have indisputable conduct. The State adds that domestic remedies
were not exhausted, since the petitioner did not exercise available remedies to determine the
individual liability of the State agents.
4.
Without pre-judging the merits of the petition, the Commission concludes
that it has competence to examine the petition concerning the process whereby Carlos
Fernández Gadea was removed as a Justice on the Supreme Court, examining it for the
alleged violations of his right to a fair trial and to judicial protection, guaranteed under Articles
8 and 25 of the American Convention, in relation to Articles 1(1) and 2 thereof. It further
decides that the present petition does not state facts that tend to establish violations of
Articles 11, 23(1)(c) and 24 of the Convention. The Commission further determines to notify
the parties of this decision, to publish it, and to include it in its Annual Report to the General
Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS).
II.

PROCESSING BY THE IACHR

5.
The petition is dated June 4, 2004 and was received in the IACHR on June
7, 2004. The petitioner submitted additional information on June 12, 2006 and February 7,

1

Select target paragraph3