REPORT N° 5/07
PETITION 161-05
ADMISSIBILITY
MIGUEL CAMBA CAMPOS ET AL.
(JUSTICES ON THE CONSTITUTIONAL COURT)
ECUADOR
February 27, 2007
I.

SUMMARY

1. On February 23, 2005, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the
Inter-American Commission” or “the IACHR”) received a petition lodged by Miguel Camba
Campos, Oswaldo Cevallos Bueno, Enrique Herrería Bonnet, Manuel Jaramillo Córdova, Jaime
Nogales Izureta, Luis Rojas Bajaña, Mauro Terán Cevallos and Simón Zabala Guzmán, former
justices on Ecuador’s Constitutional Court (jointly, “the petitioners”) wherein they allege that
the State of Ecuador (hereinafter “the State”) violated Articles 8 (right to a fair trial), 9
(freedom from ex post facto laws), 23 (political rights), 24 (equality before the law) and 25
(judicial protection), all in relation to Article 1(1) of the American Convention on Human Rights
(hereinafter “the American Convention”).
2. The petitioners contend that in 2003 they were lawfully elected by Ecuador’s National
Congress to serve as justices on the Constitutional Court. Although elected to four-year terms,
the petitioners contend that on November 24, 2004, they were arbitrarily removed from the
bench in violation of the Constitution and express provisions of the American Convention.
3. The State, for its part, contends that there is nothing to suggest that rights were violated
with either the support or acquiescence of State agents. It argues that the petition does not
state facts that could tend to establishment violations of rights protected by the American
Convention and therefore requests that the petition be declared inadmissible and that the case
be closed pursuant to Article 47 of that international instrument.
4. In the present report, the IACHR examines the positions of the parties based on the
admissibility requirements set forth in Article 46 of the Convention, and decides to declare the
case admissible with respect to Articles 8, 9 and 25 in connection with Articles 1(1) and 2
thereof. The Commission also decides to notify the parties of this report, to make it public and
include it in its Annual Report to the OAS General Assembly.
II.

PROCESSING WITH THE COMMISSION

5. The Inter-American Commission received the original petition on February 23, 2005, and
classified it as No. 161/05. By a communication received on April 22, 2005, the petitioners
provided additional information. On May 25, 2005, the Commission forwarded the petition to
the State and gave it two months in which to present its response. On June 10, 2005, the
Commission forwarded to the State the pertinent parts of the additional information the
petitioners supplied on April 22, 2005. On August 9, 2005, the Commission made itself
available to the parties with a view to reaching a friendly settlement. By a communication
dated September 13, 2005, the petitioners stated that they would decline the offer to work
toward a friendly settlement. That note was sent to the State on October 12, 2005, which was
given one month to submit its observations. As of the date of adoption of this report, no
observations have been forthcoming from the State. By a communication received on
December 1, 2005, the State petitioned the Commission to certify whether Messrs. Camba
Campos, Nogales Izurieta and Terán Cevallos had lodged a petition. The Inter-American
Commission replied in the affirmative in a communication dated December 15, 2005.
6. On March 13, 2006, an admissibility hearing was held at the headquarters of the IACHR.
There, the State requested additional time to present its written arguments and evidence. On
May 23, 2006, the petitioners submitted a brief of amicus curiae prepared by Alejandro Ponce
Martínez. That brief was sent to the State on June 8, 2006, which was given one month to
present its response. To date no written observations have been received from the State.

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