Christián Scheib Campos v. Chile, Petition 329/01, Report No. 69/01, OEA/Ser./L/V/II.114 Doc. 5 rev. at 379 (2001).
CRISTIÁN SCHEIB CAMPOS
June 14, 2001
PROCESSING BY THE IACHR
1. The petition,
filed by Juan Pablo Olmedo Bustos and Ciro Colombara ("the petitioners"),
was received on February 22, 2001. On
March 30, 2001, the Executive Secretariat of the Inter-American Commission
on Human Rights ("the IACHR" or "the Inter-American Commission")
requested information from the petitioners regarding compliance with the admissibility
requirements set forth in the American Convention on Human Rights and the
Rules of Procedure of the IACHR. The
petitioners responded with additional arguments on the exhaustion of domestic
remedies on April 19, 2001, and on May 18, 2001, they requested a "hearing
by telephone" with the Executive Secretary.
On May 21, 2001, they were notified that their petition would be submitted
to the Working Group on Admissibility of the Inter-American Commission.
On June 13, 2001, the petitioners submitted a communication containing
additional arguments and conclusions.
2. Articles 1, 2,
8, 21, 24, and 25 of the American Convention.
DESCRIPTION OF THE FACTS AND ARGUMENTS OF THE PETITIONER
The petitioners state that their client, Cristián Scheib Campos, is
a businessman who used to import used Japanese motorcycles into Chile, in
accordance with the interpretation of a law in effect since 1985.
As a result of a new administrative interpretation by the Customs Administration,
the importation of used motorcycles into Chile was banned, effective March
1999. Mr. Scheib filed an appeal
for protection against this measure on April 10, 1999. He further sought and obtained from the court an order maintaining
the status quo ante, which allowed
him to continue the aforementioned commercial activity.
On October 21, 1999, the Valparaíso Court of Appeal approved the order
for protection. An appeal was
filed against this decision by the Customs Office with the Supreme Court,
and the latter denied the appeal for protection on December 27, 1999.
As a result, on January 14, 2000, the order maintaining the status
quo ante became null and void. In
the December 1999 ruling, the Supreme Court indicated that regular judicial
channels could be used to challenge the decision of the Director of Customs
prohibiting the importation of motorcycles.
Mr. Scheib took this course of action on July 21, 2000, by means of
a request for nullification of this decision in the public law sphere.
A first instance decision is pending with respect to these proceedings.
Before this legal decision was handed down, Mr. Scheib Campos had started
and concluded the process to import 68 used motorcycles, which arrived in
Chile on January 10, 2000, after a delay that was not attributable to the
importer. On January 13, 2000,
the Customs Office instituted administrative proceedings, called a preliminary
hearing [antejuicio] for contraband,
notification of which was never provided to Mr. Scheib, according to the petitioner.
The final decision of the Customs Tribunal was that contraband activity
could not be proven; however it decided to reexport the merchandise, based
on a decision of July 21, 2000. Mr.
Scheib filed a complaint appeal with the Supreme Court against this administrative
decision. The Supreme Court rejected
this appeal on October 31, 2000, based on legal precedents established in
Chilean case law.
ANALYSIS BY THE IACHR
In essence, the petitioners are challenging the procedure applied in
Chile to Mr. Scheib Campos and the unfavorable ruling that resulted in the
reexportation of the used motorcycles, with the attendant financial loss.
However, based on the information available in the file, the alleged
victim had access to the Chilean courts, which permitted him to challenge,
on several occasions, unfavorable administrative and judicial decisions that
were handed down against him. The
IACHR notes that the events described by the petitioners, if accurate, would
not constitute violations of due process or of other rights guaranteed under
the American Convention.
The issue raised by the petitioner would therefore require a review
by the IACHR of the interpretation of the rules governing the preliminary
for contraband activity trial [antejuicio
de contrabando] that was held by the administrative and judicial authorities
of Chile. As noted earlier, this
matter was submitted to the Chilean Supreme Court, which rejected the claim
on the basis of the legal provisions and case law of that country.
The Inter-American Commission does not have jurisdiction to act as
a fourth instance with respect to decisions made by legal entities that have
adopted procedures that do not reveal violations of due process or other human
rights guaranteed by the American Convention.
The mere disagreement on the part of the petitioners with the interpretations
of the Chilean authorities is not sufficient to serve as proof of the alleged
violation of the aforementioned international instrument.
CONCLUSION AND DECISION
In accordance with the foregoing, the IACHR does not have jurisdiction,
because of the nature of the matter, to process this petition.
Consequently, the Inter-American Commission declares the petition of
Mr. Cristián Scheib Campos inadmissible. The IACHR also approves the initial
review of the requirements of the petition by the Executive Secretariat, in
accordance with its Rules of Procedure.
and signed at the headquarters of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights,
in Washington, D.C, June 14, 2001. (Signed): Juan E. Méndez, First Vice-President;
Marta Altolaguirre, Second Vice-President; Robert K. Goldman, Peter Laurie,
Hélio Bicudo, Commissioners. Commissioner
Julio Prado Vallejo abstained.
Claudio Grossman, a Chilean national, did not participate in the review
and voting related to this petition, pursuant to Article 17(2)(a) of the
Rules of Procedure of the IACHR.