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. ∗ 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.