INTER-AMERICAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS ∗
CASE OF APITZ BARBERA ET AL. (“FIRST COURT OF ADMINISTRATIVE
DISPUTES”) V. VENEZUELA
JUDGMENT OF AUGUST 5, 2008
(PRELIMINARY OBJECTION, MERITS, REPARATIONS AND COSTS)

In the case of Apitz Barbera et al.
the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (hereinafter “the Inter-American Court”,
“the Court” or “the Tribunal”), composed of the following judges:
Cecilia Medina Quiroga, President;
Sergio García Ramírez, Judge;
Manuel E. Ventura Robles, Judge;
Leonardo A. Franco, Judge;
Margarette May Macaulay, Judge, and
Rhadys Abreu Blondet, Judge;
also present,
Pablo Saavedra Alessandri, Secretary; and
Emilia Segares Rodríguez, Deputy Secretary,
pursuant to Articles 62(3) and 63(1) of the American Convention on Human Rights
(hereinafter “the Convention” or “the American Convention”) and Articles 29, 31,
53(2), 55, 56 and 58 of the Rules of Procedure of the Court (hereinafter “the Rules
of Procedure”), delivers the following Judgment.

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On January 28, 2008, Judge Diego García Sayán, a Peruvian national, disqualified himself from
hearing this case “in the best interest of the Court.” He stated that he is a “member of the Comisión
Andina de Juristas (Andean Commission of Jurists) and that he holds an “executive office with said
organization.” He considered that “[w]hile the specific functions of his office are not directly connected
with institutional communication or consideration of substantive issues, […] it would be adequate to
disqualify himself from hearing the case in order to prevent the perception of the Court as an impartial
and independent body from being affected.” The President of the Court concluded that Judge García Sayán
had not participated in any way in the instant case and that he had refrained from expressing, either
publicly, privately, or to the parties hereto his views on this controversy, its foundations, or details and
possible solutions. However, the President, after consulting the other members and pursuant to Article
19(2) of the Rules of Procedure of the Court, found it reasonable to address and in turn grant the
disqualification petition of Judge García Sayán as a means to “prevent the perception of the Court as an
impartial and independent body from being affected.” Judge García Sayán’s disqualification and the
President’s decision were notified to the parties on January 29, 2008.

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