On April 26, 1996, Mrs. Norma Dominga Carpi de Szukalo, widowed,
(hereinafter "the petitioner") approached the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter "the Commission") on
her own behalf and that of her children to file a complaint against the
Argentine Republic (hereinafter "the State,” "the Argentine
State," or “Argentina”). In
the civil and criminal proceedings brought before the Argentine judicial
authorities regarding the falsification of certified documents used to
sell several real estate properties, thereby depriving the petitioner of
her property, the petitioner considers that the following rights were
to the detriment of Mr. Sergio Szukalo's heirs:
right to a fair trial (Article 8), the right to property (Article 21),
and the right to judicial protection (Article 25).
The petitioner further claims that the State failed to fulfill
the obligation to respect (Article 1) and adopt (Article 2) the
standards in the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter
"the American Convention").
In its analysis of the admissibility of this case, the Commission
concluded that the petitioner's allegation that there was an eleven-year
delay by Argentine judicial authorities in delivering a final judgment
in the civil proceedings, if true, could constitute a violation of the
right to due process (Article 8(1)) and must be examined together with
the allegation that the criminal proceedings to establish criminal
liability in this case must be resolved before another court may hear
the case (prejudicialidad).
Furthermore, the Commission found inadmissible the petitioner's
allegation that the State is obligated to adopt the time periods set
forth in the Code of Civil Procedure, pursuant to the provisions of
Article 2 of the American Convention, because those time frames are
neither irrational nor arbitrary. Finally,
the Commission found inadmissible the points
related to the right to property (Article 21), because the petitioner
stated that the Court's decision in the civil suit was satisfactory,
since she recovered her property.
PROCESSING BY THE COMMISSION
On April 26, 1996, the Commission received the complaint, which
was amplified on May 26, 1996. On
June 10, 1996, the Commission requested information from the State,
which replied on December 3, 1996.
The petitioner submitted additional information on July 19, 1996
and then again on October 3, 1996.
The petitioner's observations were received on January 24, 1997
and the State's reply on February 11, 1997.
The State was given a 30-day extension on April 14, 1997.
On October 22, 1997, the petitioner submitted additional
information, the relevant parts of which were forwarded to the State on
November 4, 1997.
In another communication received on November 25, 1997, the
petitioner presented additional information.
The State sent its observations on December 22, 1997.
Subsequently, both the petitioner and the State continued to send
communications clarifying their positions in this case.
POSITIONS OF THE PARTIES
The petitioner claims that certified documents were falsified in
1981, with the participation of two pseudo-attorneys and two notaries,
and were used to sell several real estate properties belonging to Sergio
Szukalo's heirs, which
were then resold to third parties. This sale deprived Sergio Szukalo's heirs of the right to the
use and enjoyment of the property.
On June 9, 1986, Mr. Sergio Szukalo's heirs and children, Pablo
Sergio Humberto Szukalo, Patricia Virginia Szukalo, and Mariana
Elizabeth Szukalo, filed a complaint with the Argentine judicial
authorities, which Mrs. Norma Dominga Carpi, Szukalo's
widow, later joined, to nullify the sale of the real estate, to recover
the property, and to receive damages for the loss of their use and of
the furniture therein on the day of the death of the devisor, profits
from the saleable value, and emotional distress.
The full proceedings to declare the sale void were executed as
"Szukalo Pablo et al. vs.
Perricone Miguel et al. on the
nullity of the sales" by the Court of the First Instance on Civil
and Commercial Matters Nº 14 of San Isidro in the Province of Buenos
Aires. That suit was
brought as incidental proceedings in the probate hearing ab
intestato against nine joint defendants.
The grounds of the complaint was the falsification of documents
-- the preliminary sales contract and the irrevocable power of attorney
-- the signatures on which were not the devisor's, as was proven in the
proceedings through the testimony of a handwriting expert.
Those documents were used to sell the property to three buyers
who in turn resold it.
The sale in question was of three large properties located in
northern greater Buenos Aires that belonged to the devisor, the
petitioner's husband, Mr. Sergio Szukalo. At the time of the sale, the
claimants were minors, and judicial authorization was required to make
the sale binding. That authorization was not granted. Although Mrs. Dominga Carpi, Szukalo's widow, signed the
sales contracts, “the legal nullity being pursued through the
complaint does not refer to the supposed incompetence of the
co-claimant, Mrs. Carpi de Szukalo, when she entered into the legal acts
Furthermore, the petitioner lodged written proof with the Court
that the notary who signed the power of attorney document had been
permanently removed from the roster as punishment for illicit acts.
The petitioner also presented written proof that the former
attorney who ran the probate hearings was punished and removed from the
professional roster by the Bar Association in 1988.
With regard to procedural developments within the proceedings,
the respondents requested that the August 24, 1987 decision of the Court
of the First Instance be nullified.
On June 10, 1988, the Court denied that request and authorized
Mrs. Szukalo to participate as a complainant along with her children in
the proceedings, in order to enforce her own right vis-à-vis the
On December 7, 1989, the Court ruled on the pleas raised by six
of the co-respondents, three of whom later appealed.
On August 3, 1990, the Court ruled on the pleas, including the
complainants' lack of legal standing to claim emotional distress they
personally did not experience; it recognized that the legal requirements
for lodging a complaint were not fulfilled and ordered the Judge a
quo to set a deadline to rectify this. In 1993, following the death
of one of the co-respondents, the case was forwarded to Court Nº 7 in
San Isidro. The parties
gave their arguments in that Court in February 1995. On March 14, 1995,
the petitioner requested that the Court waive the right of one of the
co-respondents to present his arguments and that they continue with the
On February 29, 1996, the Court of the First Instance issued a
judgment denying the request. The
appeal lodged in March 1996 was forwarded to the Second Chamber of the
First Civil and Commercial Court of Appeals of San Isidro in the
Province of Buenos Aires, which returned the decision, twice in a row,
to the Court of the First Instance.
The first time was because a motion to "refute the
falsification" had not been remitted with the main court records.
The second time was because the lower court judge did not notify
one of the co-respondents that he had been declared in contempt of court
and as a result had to be notified of the decision at his principal
place of residence. These procedural steps lasted 7 months, from
February to September 1996.
The petitioner, before the court of appeals, objected to the
lower court judge continuing to hear the case on the grounds he had
executed his functions in a deficient manner, due to his partiality and
aggravated prejudice, as shown by the fact that his decision did not
consider the decisions of the court of appeals, which specified the
correct procedures to follow. The petitioner further requested a "jury
de enjuiciamiento" on improper execution of functions,
equivalent to an impeachment trial that could lead to his dismissal as a
judge. On October 22, 1996,
the Chamber upheld the denial of the motion for incidental proceedings
on "new events" denounced in the Court of the First Instance
and requested that the Supreme Court of the Province of Buenos Aires
allow additional time for delivering a judgment.
A 90-day extension was granted on May 27, 1997.
After more than eleven years, on October 9, 1997, the
Second Chamber of the First Civil and Commercial Court of Appeals of the
Judicial District of San Isidro
totally repealed the judgment issued by the lower court judge in
February 1996. That
decision granted in part the request made by the complainants, in that
it declared null and void the sale of the three properties due to the
falsification of the signature on the irrevocable power used to
represent Mr. Sergio Szukalo. It
also ordered that the properties be repossessed and handed over to his
heirs, and that their registration in the real estate registry be
cancelled, "thereby showing the justice of the rights
petitioned in 1986." The
judgment also resolves other issues raised by the parties as secondary
or subsidiary to the non-existence of the legal acts questioned in the
The petitioner indicated that the civil proceedings were delayed
excessively, thus failing to comply with the procedural deadlines set in
the Code of Civil Procedure of Argentina, in force in the jurisdiction
where the proceedings were conducted, which are binding for both the
parties and the judge. The
procedural deadlines set forth in that Code are as follows:
days to answer the complaint (Article 337);
days to hear or forward any petition (Article 150);
days to furnish evidence (Article 365);
40 days to produce the evidence offered in each file of proof for
each party (Article 365);
days for each party to give its arguments (Article 480);
40 working days to issue a judgment (Article 34, subparagraph c).
Due to the procedural delays, the petitioner also alleges the
violation of Article 2 of the American Convention, because the State did
not fulfill its obligation to adapt its procedural standards to the
requirements set forth in the Convention.
The non-existence of such laws deprived the judges of the
pertinent legal and procedural tools to speed up and adapt the
proceedings to the "reasonable time" called for in
international law. It also makes the State liable for the failure to
adopt domestic legislation in keeping with international law.
Furthermore, on May 15, 1986, the petitioner filed criminal
charges for the falsification of the certified documents.
That case was processed in the Second Criminal Court of San
Isidro as “Szukalo Pablo and Malzof Fernando, for the falsification of
documents, repeated fraud, and extortion.” On May 18, 1993, the
petitioner filed a document with the Supreme Court of Justice of
Argentina denouncing the denial of justice caused by the procedural
delays and requested that provincial judicial authorities be issued a
warning setting a procedural term that expires automatically to activate
the criminal case, since the civil trial to nullify the sale cannot be
heard until the criminal case for repeated fraud by the same respondents
for the same events is resolved.
The suit for repeated fraud --committed in 1981, the year of the
death of the devisor-- was dismissed temporarily by Criminal Court Nº 2
of San Isidro. The Criminal
and Correctional Court of Appeals of San Isidro upheld that decision,
due to a lack of evidence, making its continuity doubtful.
The case therefore remains open, awaiting new evidence, without
detriment to the complaint regarding extortion and conspiracy, which was
not considered in that decision. The
petitioner was notified of the ruling on April 20, 1994.
According to the petitioner, the case is straightforward as
regards the evidence that the signature was falsified, since this was
proven during the trial through handwriting tests on the signature of
Mr. Sergio Szukalo's on the documents used.
The complainants (the heirs) have been diligent throughout the
suit; they have kept to the procedural deadlines and during the suit
have had to put up with all sorts of dilatory defenses and obstructions
unrelated to them, including:
The pleas or defenses raised by the co-respondents for purely
dilatory purposes, which were rejected by the judge involved.
The competent Chamber took one year to decide on the motions to
dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction–between the original court
and the one that later heard the case–because of the death of one
The delay in appointing a new judge to the Criminal Court hearing
the criminal case on falsification and repeated fraud, which lasted
approximately one year. This
criminal case was being processed at the same time as the civil case,
and due to the principle of "prejudicialidad,"
had to be resolved before a judgment could be delivered in the civil
suit to declare the sale null, further delaying the process by a year.
Nonetheless, in a later communication the petitioner indicated that the
criminal case "was handled at almost the same time as the civil
suit and therefore in no way necessarily influenced the procedural delay
in the civil suit, although it had to be decided first."
The obstructions or delays of the civil court in certifying the
existence of evidence pending presentation in the case and the fact that
the parties could present arguments on the evidence contributed before
The unjustified one-year delay in issuing a judgment, once the
parties requested a clear decision on the "shared" status of
the evidence produced in the suit to declare the sale null and that
produced in an incidental proceeding.
Only one handwriting expert was appointed, and there was no
testimonial evidence outside of the court's jurisdiction or any other
proof outside of the country.
Furthermore, the petitioner considers that the judges have not
fulfilled the obligation to ensure the probity and good faith of the
litigants. The petitioners have not been informed of the obstructions
imposed by the co-respondents, which the judges, as directors of the
process, have allowed.
When the petitioner presented her petition to the Commission, she
considered that the negligence in the proceedings affected the court's
impartiality, which was clear in the decision of the lower court, thus
violating the principle of congruence and making it clearly arbitrary.
She further alleged the violation of Article 21 of the American
Convention on the right to property as a result of the denial of justice
stemming from the delay by judicial authorities. Nonetheless, she subsequently informed the Commission that
the Court of Appeals issued a judgment on October 9, 1997 that was
“satisfactory,” since she recovered her property.
Regarding admissibility, in the initial petition to the
Commission, the petitioner claimed that the exceptions to the rule of
prior exhaustion of the domestic remedies set forth in Article 46(2)(a)
and (c) of the American Convention were applicable due to the delay in
resolving the case, which was a denial of justice.
Subsequently, as a result of the Court of Appeal's judgment, the
petitioner indicated that the decision was final, thus making the
State's allegations regarding the non-exhaustion of domestic remedies
The State, in its reply to the petitioner's initial complaint,
claimed that domestic remedies had not been exhausted and therefore it
was still possible to appeal to a higher court. However, with the final
judgment of the Court of Appeals, it stated that domestic remedies had
Responsibility only falls to the State “because
of [a] lack of due diligence to prevent the violation or to respond to
it as required by the Convention.”
The State argues that the petitioner only indicated that “the
judicial delay was caused by the unwarranted delays requested by the
other party. However, these
claims are not accompanied by any indication proving that her own
conduct sought to overcome the stumbling blocks placed by the other
party. There is no way the
State can adopt a position other than the one it did."
In any event, it is clear that the case in question was not
exempt from disputes among the parties and that the petitioner had had
to question her own conduct in the case.
Nor did she make full use of the legal remedies to disqualify the
dilatory moves made by the other party.
Therefore, the State cites the doctrine of "one's own
acts," since the petitioner contributed to the delay.
As a result, one cannot claim the violation of the rights
enshrined in Articles 8 and 25 of the American Convention on Human
The State indicated that the characteristics of the civil suit do
not exempt it from the obligation to exercise jurisdiction in a
"reasonable period of time." However, the State cannot be
reproached for this unless the delay is due entirely to the court, which
is not the case here.
At the same time, the State provided the following explanations
for the delay in this case:
of respondents participated in the civil trial (nine in all), each of
whom provided his/her own legal representation.
Incidental proceedings were opened in the trial, such as the
refutation of the falsification by some of the co-respondents.
There was a criminal complaint, which had to be resolved first,
thus delaying the civil proceedings.
The State indicates that estimating a set number of days, months,
or years for proceedings does not tend to indicate the violation of
protected rights, and that a reasonable length of time cannot be
established in the abstract.
The State maintains that this was an action taken by individuals
against individuals, regarding events and situations outside the purview
of State intervention. It
was also a question of ownership between individuals in which the
possession and ownership of the property was not contingent upon an
action or decision by public authorities.
With regard to the violation of the right to property, the State
maintains that the petitioner's allegation is groundless.
It also recalls that the Argentine State formulated the following
exception to Article 21 of the American Convention:
The Argentine Government establishes that questions relating to
the Government's economic policy shall not be subject to review by an
international tribunal. Neither
shall it consider reviewable anything the national courts may determine
to be matters of “public utility” and “social interest”, nor
anything they may understand to be “fair compensation”.
The State further indicated that the consequences of actions
between individuals, outside of the purview of State intervention, are
not included under the terms of Article 21 of the American Convention.
In this case, this is a private situation, outside of the purview
of direct State action.
Finally, the State requested that the Commission declare this
case inadmissible on the grounds that the events presented by the
petitioner do not show the violation of rights enshrined in the American
ANALYSIS OF ADMISSIBILITY
The purpose of the Commission's decision on the admissibility of
the cases brought before it is not only to produce more clarity and
legal security in its procedures, but also to focus the parties on the
central issues in the case.
A. Competence ratione
materiae, ratione personae, and
ratione temporis of the Commission
In light of its mandate, the Commission is competent ratione
temporis to examine this case, since the suit brought by the
petitioner began on June 9, 1986 after Argentina, the State Party
denounced, had deposited the instrument of ratification of the American
Convention with the General Secretariat of the Organization of American
States (September 5, 1984).
The Commission finds that it is competent ratione
materiae, because the petition denounces alleged violations of
rights enshrined in the American Convention.
With regard to active and passive competence ratione
personae, the Commission concluded that it is competent, because the
petitioner presents herself as the victim of the supposed violations of
the Convention by a State Party, Argentina.
Other admissibility requirements for the petition
Exhaustion of domestic remedies
For a petition to
be admissible, Article 46(1)(a)
of the Convention requires "that the remedies under domestic law
have been pursued and exhausted in accordance with generally recognized
principles of international law." The Commission observes that the
petitioner, in her initial complaint lodged with the Commission on April
26, 1996, invoked the exceptions established in Article 46(2)(a) and (c) of
the American Convention with regard to the incidental proceedings
brought before the Argentine judicial authorities to nullify the sale.
Article 46(2) of the Convention stipulates that the rule
of prior exhaustion of domestic remedies does not apply in the following
circumstances: (a) if the domestic
legislation of the State concerned does not afford due process of law
for the protection of the right or rights that have allegedly been
violated; (b) if the party alleging violation of his rights has been
denied access to the remedies under domestic law; or (c) if there has
been unwarranted delay in rendering a final judgment under the
However, during the Commission's processing of this case, a final
decision was handed down by the Second Chamber of the First Civil and
Commercial Court of Appeals of San Isidro in the Province of Buenos
Aires on October 9, 1997. The
parties in this case considered that this judgment exhausted domestic
remedies, and the petitioner did not persist in invoking the exceptions
to that rule. The Commission concludes that the requirement of prior
exhaustion of domestic remedies set forth in Article 46(1)(a) of the
Convention was met.
b. Deadline for lodging
Article 46(1)(b) of
the American Convention requires that the petition be "lodged
within a period of six months from the date on which the party alleging
violation of his rights was notified of the final judgment." The
Commission notes that the petitioner presented her petition before
a final decision was issued. As
a result it concludes that the six-month requirement set forth in
Article 46(1)(b) of the American Convention was met.
Duplication of proceedings and res
41. Article 46(1)(c) requires that
the subject of the petition or communication not be pending in another
international proceeding for settlement.
Furthermore, Article 47 (d) of the Convention establishes that
the Commission shall consider inadmissible any petition that is
substantially the same as one previously studied by the Commission or by
another international organization. In this case, the parties have not indicated any of the
circumstances mentioned above. The Commission therefore finds that this
requirement was met.
Characterization of the allegations
examined whether or not the events alleged by the petitioner tend to
characterize possible violations of the American Convention, as provided
for in Article 47(b).
Right to due process (Article 8(1))
On other occasions, the
Commission has stated in this regard that "the right to a hearing
within a reasonable time, as established by the American Convention, is
based, inter alia, on the
necessity of avoiding unwarranted delays which result in an abridgement
or denial of justice injurious to persons alleging the violation of
rights protected by said Convention."
Article 8(1) of the American Convention reads:
person has the right to a hearing, with due guarantees and within a
reasonable time, by a competent, independent, and impartial tribunal,
previously established by law, in the substantiation of any accusation
of a criminal nature made against him or for the determination of his
rights and obligations of a civil, labor, fiscal, or any other nature.
The guarantees in Article 8.1 of the Convention apply not only to
proceedings invoking the violation of rights by the State, but also to
rights and obligations of a civil or other nature between individuals.
In this case, where the petitioner requested nullification of the
sale of property, the Commission finds that these proceedings are aimed
at determining the civil rights and obligations of persons, regardless
of the origin or reason for the petition.
Regarding the delay cited by the petitioner, the Commission finds
that the State did not dispute that there was a delay in the civil
proceedings, but rather
claims that it was justified
based on the behavior of the claimants, the large number of respondents
and the incidental proceedings they brought, and the fact that the
criminal complaint had to be decided on first.
In this regard, the Commission observes that the proceedings
before the Courts of the First Instance on Civil and Commercial Matters Nos.
14 and 7 took roughly ten years to reach a decision in this case. The Commission also notes that the parties in this case
argued that the criminal case had to be resolved before the civil suit,
which must be examined along with the merits of the case. The Commission
therefore concludes prima
facie that the events alleged by the petitioner regarding the
procedural delays, if true, tend to characterize a violation of Article
8.1 of the American Convention.
Right to property (Article 21)
The Commission observes that in the original petition, the
petitioner alleges the violation of Article 21 of the American
Convention on the right to property as a result of the denial of justice
stemming from the delay by judicial authorities.
Subsequently, however, she informed the Commission that the Court
of Appeals had issued a judgment on October 9, 1997 that was
"satisfactory," since she recovered her property.
The petitioner did not allege other events that could serve as
grounds for her allegation regarding violation of the right to property.
The Commission therefore concludes that, at the time this report
was issued, the events alleged by the petitioner regarding the right to
property (Article 21) are no longer applicable and declares that part of
the petition inadmissible.
Duty to adopt measures (Article 2)
The petitioner presented two arguments to support her allegation
that the procedural delays violated Article 2 of the Convention.
Firstly, she alleged that the procedural time frames called for
in Articles 34 (c), 150, 337, 365, and 480 of the Code of Civil
Procedure --applicable in the jurisdiction in which the case was heard--
violate Article 2 of the American Convention. Secondly, she argued that the State failed to adapt those
standards or to issue domestic procedural and legal instruments to speed
up the proceedings or adapt them to the reasonable time period called
for in Article 8(1) of the Convention.
Article 2 reads:
As the Inter-American Court has upheld, this Article reflects a
basic rule of international law that a State Party to a treaty has a
legal duty to take whatever legislative or other steps as may be
necessary to enable it to comply with its treaty obligations.
Thus States must issue the standards they committed to in Article 2 of
the Convention (positive duty) and cannot issue provisions or measures
that violate the rights and freedoms recognized therein (negative duty).
The Commission examined the procedural deadlines set forth in the
Code of Civil Procedure for the jurisdiction applicable in the
petitioner's case. In this
regard, it considers that 15 days to answer a complaint (Article 337);
five days to hear or forward any petition (Article 150); ten days to
furnish evidence (Article 365); 40 days to produce evidence offered in
the file of proof of each party (Article 365); six days for each party
to present its arguments (Article 480); and 40 working days to issue a
judgment [Article 34 (c)] are not prima
facie unreasonable or arbitrary and do not impede the exercise of
the right to a hearing within a reasonable time frame.
The petitioner alleged that the State failed to adopt domestic
legal and procedural tools to speed up and adapt the procedures to a
reasonable time period. However, the Commission considers that the
petitioner did not indicate what these shortcomings or loopholes in the
domestic legal system are with regard to regulating the conditions for
the exercise of the right to a hearing in a reasonable time. The
petitioner also did not indicate to what extent these supposed loopholes
or shortcomings affected that right.
The Commission believes that, in this case, the petitioner had
access to the courts and that the procedural standards governing the
process, prima facie in and of themselves, fulfill the requirements in
Article 8(1) of the Convention.
The Commission feels it is necessary to specify that the failure
of judicial authorities to meet the procedural deadlines established in
the Code of Civil Procedure indicated by the petitioner is different
from those deadlines in and of themselves violating the guarantee
established in Article 8 of the Convention.
The Commission understands that the petitioner is protesting the
behavior of the judicial authorities who enforced the deadlines and who
have the duty to guarantee the exercise of the right to a hearing in a
reasonable time. This point
was already examined when the Commission addressed the characterization
of the violations of Article 8 of the Convention (paragraphs 41 to 45).
56. Thus any argument regarding actions or omissions by judicial authorities that affect the right to due process within a reasonable time alludes to the general obligation established in Article 1.1 and not Article 2 of the Convention. The content and scope of Article 2 refers to different assumptions and complements the provisions of Article 1(1) of the Convention, which stipulates the essential obligations to guarantee and respect rights. Otherwise there would be no reason for these Articles to be separate provisions. Therefore, the obligation of the states under Article 1(1) of the Convention is much more immediate than that stemming from Article 2. As the Inter-American Court has indicated, the obligation to ensure the free and full exercise of human rights is not fulfilled by the existence of a legal system designed to make it possible to comply with this obligation --it also requires the government to conduct itself so as to effectively ensure the free and full exercise of human rights.
Therefore, the duty to issue the necessary measures to fully
guarantee the effectiveness of rights in the states' domestic systems,
referred to in Article 2, cannot be understood, in the American
Convention system, as a mere repetition of the provisions of Article
1(1), as this would strip the latter of all meaning.
Furthermore, it cannot be considered equivalent to the simple
generic duty to make the duty effective in the domestic system, which is
inherent to all international obligations.
In consideration of the de
facto and de jure
arguments outlined above, the Commission concludes that the procedural
deadlines contained in the standards cited by the petitioner do not
characterize a violation of the right to a hearing within a reasonable
time, as established in Article 8(1) of the American Convention.
Furthermore, in examining the facts forwarded in these
proceedings, the Commission does not find that the petitioner's
allegations regarding the legislative or other measures needed to
enforce that right correspond to the characterization made by the
petitioner. As a result,
the Commission concludes that the petitioner's allegations do not tend
to characterize a violation of Article 2 and are inadmissible in keeping
with the provisions of Article 47(b) of the Convention.
The Commission concludes that the petition meets the formal
admissibility requirements established in Article 46 of the American
Based on the examination conducted, if the petitioner's
allegations regarding the procedural delays in the civil suit are true,
they would tend to constitute a violation of the right to a fair trial
Nonetheless, the Commission concludes that the petitioner's
initial allegations regarding the violation of the right to property
(Article 21) were satisfied by the State during the Commission's
processing of the case. Therefore, at the time this report was issued, those
allegations are inadmissible, in keeping with Article 47(c) of the
American Convention. The
Commission also concluded that the allegations regarding the State's
duty to adapt its standards and issue measures in agreement with the
rights (Article 2) do not constitute violations, in keeping with Article
47(b) of the American Convention.
Based on the de facto
and de jure arguments listed above, and without prejudging the merits of
INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION ON HUMAN RIGHTS,
Declare the petition admissible with regard to Articles 8 and 25
of the Convention and to declare the allegations on the violation of
Articles 2 and 21 inadmissible;
Notify the parties of this decision.
Continue to examine the merits of the case.
4. Place itself at the
disposal of the parties, with a view to reaching a friendly settlement
of the matter on the basis of respect for the human rights recognized in
the American Convention. The Commission invites both parties to reply regarding the
possibility of initiating such a settlement, and
Publish this decision and include it in the Commission's Annual
Report to the General Assembly of the OAS.
and signed at the headquarters of the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights in Washington, D.C. on May 4, 1999.
(Signed): Robert K. Goldman, Chairman; Hélio Bicudo, First
Vice-Chairman; Claudio Grossman, Second Vice-Chairman; and
Commissioners, Carlos Ayala Corao, Alvaro Tirado Mejía, and Jean Joseph
 October 9, 1997 judgment of the Second Chamber of the
First Civil and Commercial Court of Appeals of the Judicial District
of San Isidro.
 The State cited the Inter-American Court of Human
Rights, the Velásquez Rodríguez Case, paragraph 172.
 The State quoted the Inter-American Commission on
Human Rights, Report 2/97, Argentina, Annual Report 1997, paragraph
 See, among others, Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights, Annual Report 1998, Report Nº 49/97,
Case 11.520, Tomás Porfirio Rondín et
al., “Aguas Blancas" (Mexico), OEA/Ser/L/V/II.98,
February 18, 1998, para. 50, page 8.
 Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
Annual Report 1996, Report Nº 9/97, Case 11.509, Report on
Admissibility of March 12, 1997, pages 635-636 in the Spanish
edition, para. 35.
 Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Enforceability
of the Right to Reply or Correction (Articles 14(1), 1(1), and 2 of
the American Convention on Human Rights), Advisory Opinion OC-7/86
of August 29, 1986, Series A, Nº 7, para. 30).
 Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Certain
Attributes of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
(Articles 41, 42, 44, 46, 47, 50, and 51 of the American Convention
on Human Rights) Advisory Opinion OC-13/93 of July 16, 1993, Series
A, Nº 13, paras. 26-31; and International Responsibility for the
Promulgation and Enforcement of Laws in Violation of the Convention
(Arts. 1 and 2 of the American Convention on Human Rights) Advisory
Opinion OC-14/94 of December 16, 1994. Series A, Nº 14, para. 36.
 The source of Article 2 of the American Convention is
Article 2(2) of the United Nations International Covenant on Civil
and Political Rights, which both because of its placement and
content clearly complements the essential obligation to respect and
guarantee rights stipulated in Article 2, subparagraph 1, which is
equivalent to Article 1(1) of the American Convention. In contrast,
the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and
Fundamental Freedoms does not contain a provision similar to Article
2 of the American Convention or Article 2(2) of the International
 Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Velásquez Rodríguez
Case, Judgment of July 29, 1988, Series C, Nº 4, paras. 167-168;
and Godínez Cruz Case, Judgment of January 20, 1989, Series C, Nº
5, paras. 176-177.