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I
INTRODUCTION OF THE CASE AND SUBJECT OF THE DISPUTE
1.
On November 29, 2006, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
(hereinafter “the Commission” or “the Inter-American Commission”) filed, pursuant
to Articles 51 and 61 of the Convention, an application against the Bolivarian
Republic of Venezuela (hereinafter “the State” or “Venezuela”), which originated this
case. The first application was filed before the Commission on April 6, 2004. On
March 8, 2005, the Commission delivered Report No. 24/05, whereby it declared the
case admissible. Later, on July 20, 2006, the Commission issued the Report on the
Merits No. 64/06, pursuant to Article 50 of the Convention, containing
recommendations for the State. Said report was notified to the State on August 14,
2006. Having concluded that Venezuela had failed to adopt its recommendations, the
Commission decided to submit the instant case to the jurisdiction of the Court. The
Commission appointed Paulo Sérgio Pinheiro, Commissioner, and Santiago A.
Canton, Executive Secretary, as delegates, and Ariel E. Dulitzky, Elizabeth AbiMershed, Débora Benchoam and Manuela Cuvi Rodríguez, as legal advisers.
2.
The application is related to the removal from office of former judges of the
Corte Primera de lo Contenciso Administrativo [First Court of Administrative
Disputes] (hereinafter “the First Court”) Ana María Ruggeri Cova, Perkins Rocha
Contreras and Juan Carlos Apitz Barbera on October 30, 2003, on the grounds that
they had committed an inexcusable judicial error when they granted an amparo
[protection of constitutional guarantees and rights] against an administrative act that
had denied a request for protocolization of a land sale. The Commission asserted that
the removal based on this error “is contrary to the principle of judicial independence
and undermines the right of judges to decide freely in accordance with the law” and
that they were removed “on the grounds that they had committed an alleged
inexcusable judicial error when what existed was a reasonable and reasoned
difference of possible legal interpretations concerning a particular procedural feature.
This was a serious violation of their right to due process because of the lack of
justification of the decision to remove them and their lack of access to any simple,
swift, and effective recourse for obtaining a determination on the disciplinary
measure to which they had been subjected.” Moreover, the Commission stated that
the First Court had adopted decisions “that had generated adverse reactions among
senior officials of the executive branch” and that “the indicia as a whole” supported
the inference that the body that ordered the removal was not independent and
impartial and that such removal resulted from a “misuse of power” originating in the
“cause-and-effect relationship between the statements of the President of the
Republic and senior government officials concerning the decisions that went against
government interests and the disciplinary investigation that was initiated and that
culminated in the victims' removal.”
3.
In its application the Commission requested the Court to declare the State
responsible for the violation of the rights enshrined in Articles 8 (right to a fair trial)
and Article 25 (right to judicial protection) of the American Convention in conjunction
with the duties established in Article 1(1) (obligation to respect rights) and Article 2
(obligation to adjust domestic legislation to human rights standards) thereof, to the
detriment of the victims. Furthermore, it requested the Court to order certain
measures of reparation.
4.
On February 19, 2007, Mr. Héctor Faúndez Ledesma, representative of the
alleged victims (hereinafter “the representative”), submitted a brief containing
pleadings, motions and evidence (hereinafter “the brief containing pleadings and
motions”) under Article 23 of the Rules of Procedure. Apart from the issues

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