Chapter VIII. Decisions of national tribunals

  1. Argentina

    supreme Court of Justice of the nation Proceedings for review of leave to appeal Jorge Francisco Baca Capodónico, Plea of no action, Case No. 35.295, 27 May 2004

    Question .of .jurisdictional .immunity .of .an .official .of .the .International .Monetary . Fund . requested . for . extradition—Determination . of . the . stage . of . the . judicial . proceedings .in .which .the .issue .of .immunity .shall .be .raised—Issue .of .diplomatic . immunity .not .included .in .requirements .laid .down .by .the .Montevideo .Treaty .on . International .Penal .Law .(1889) —Definitive .nature .of .the .injury .at .stake—Issue . of .immunity .requires .a .special .prior .ruling .to .the .extradition .trial

    Office .of .the .Attorney-General

    Supreme .Court:


    Jorge .Francisco .Baca .Campodónico, .a .Peruvian .citizen .residing .in .our .country, .was . summoned .by .the .judge .of .the .Criminal .and .Correctional .Court .No .6 .of .this .city .to . attend .the .hearing .provided .for .in .articles .33 .and .34 .of .the .Montevideo .Treaty .on .International .Penal .Law .of .1889 .and .article .49 .of .Act .No .24767, .under .which .the .judicial .authorities .of .the .Republic .of .Peru .are .requesting .his .handover .for .trial .in .criminal .proceedings . brought .against .him .Mr .Baca .Campodónico, .on .this .first .occasion .in .the .proceedings .and . invoking .his .status .as .an .official .of .the .International .Monetary .Fund .on .an .official .visit . to .Argentina, .invited .by .the .local .government .authorities .for .a .technical .assistance .mission, .invoked .the .right .to .immunity .from .arrest .accorded .to .him .by .international .treaties . (folios .41/42)

    In .response, .the .federal .judge .decided .“to .declare .that .Baca .Campodónico .has .no . immunity .and/or .privilege .whatsoever .with .respect .to .the .conduct .of .the .present .extradition .trial” .(folios .75 .to .90 .verso)

    When . Mr . Baca . Campodónico . appealed . against . this . decision, . division . I . of . the . National .Federal .Criminal .and .Correctional .Appeals .Court .of .this .city .concluded .that .“the .

    . Translated .from .Spanish .by .the .Secretariat .of .the .United .Nations

    . OASTS .34, .p .1 .


    arguments .put .forward .by .Mr .Baca .Campodónico’s .legal .counsel .concerning .his .‘functional’ .immunity .are .pleas .on .the .merits .relevant .to .the .debate—though .limited .to .the . feasibility .of .extradition, .since .‘his .guilt .or .innocence .in .the .acts .giving .rise .to .the .request . for .extradition’ .cannot .be .analysed .(see, .inter alia, .judgements .97:39; .106:20; .139:94 .and . 150:317)—which .this .Court, .as .appeal .court .with .respect .to .the .judge .bringing .the .extradition .proceedings, .is .prohibited .by .law .from .evaluating” .It .added .that .“the .conclusion .that . must .be .drawn .from .joint .analysis .of .all .the .arguments .put .forward .is .that .this .is .not .the . appropriate .stage .at .which .to .raise .such .questions .This .conclusion .is .closely .linked .to .the . argument .put .forward .by .the .Appellant’s .legal .counsel .and .resolves .any .doubts .that .might . exist .as .to .the .sphere .in .which .the .case .must .continue .to .be .handled, .bearing .in .mind .the . reservations .expressed .by .Mr .Roberto .Durrieu .and .Mr .Guillermo .Arias, .with .the .result . that .this .is .the .decision .taken” .(folios .442/443)

    As .can .be .seen, .the .lower .court .considers .that .the .plea .of .immunity .must .be .raised . in .the .trial .proper, .despite .which .it .does .not .annul .the .decision .of .the .federal .judge .in . ruling—erroneously, .in .the .Appeal .Court’s .opinion—on .the .merits .of .the .issue, .in .other . words, .on .whether .or .not .the .Appellant’s .jurisdictional .immunity .should .be .recognized

    A .special .federal .appeal .was .lodged .against .this .decision .(folios .454 .to .473) .and .it .was . the .ensuing .refusal .of .leave .to .appeal, .on .grounds .that .the .requirements .of .a .higher .court . and .a .final .judgement .or .its .equivalent .(folio .497 .and .verso) .had .not .been .met, .that .gave . rise .to .the .present .Complaint


    1 . According .to .the .doctrine .established .by .the .Court .in .the .precedent .Proceedings for review of leave to appeal, Martinez Adalid, Jorge Oscar, concerning fraud by means of fraudulent administration and various incidents of pleas of no action .(M .1286 XXXVI), . this .case .raises .an .important .federal .issue .in .that .the .Appellant’s .argument .concerning .the . jurisdictional .immunity .to .which .Mr .Baca .Campodónico .is .entitled .in .his .capacity .as .an . official .of .the .International .Monetary .Fund, .a .body .with .legal .personality .under .international .law, .involves .the .interpretation .and .application .of .conventions .signed .by .Argentina .and .hence .the .State’s .fulfilment .of .its .obligations .in .this .area .(judgements .318:2639; . 319:2411) .Furthermore, .the .injury .is .definitive .since .the .conduct .of .extradition .proceedings .would .entail .effective .submission .to .jurisdiction .and .deprivation .of .the .immunity .to . which .the .Appellant .considers .himself .entitled .(judgement .319:585) .These .exceptional .circumstances .warrant .a .finding .by .Your .Excellency .that .the .requirements .of .a .final .judgement . and .a .higher .court .have .been .met .for .the .purposes .of .the .special .appeal

    2 . Your .Excellency .made .such .a .finding, .mutatis mutandis, .in .the .domestic .sphere . when, .on .the .occasion .of .the .discussion .as .to .whether .or .not .summoning .two .national . deputies .to .a .conciliation .hearing .for . .privately .actionable .offences .constituted .the .commitment .to .trial .referred .to .in .articles .68, .69 .and .70 .of .the .Constitution, .you .said .that .the . ruling .precluding .a .discussion .of .this .issue .caused .a .present .damage .and .could .not .be . repaired .subsequently, .since .once .the .hearing .was .held .the .damage .would .be .irreversible . (case .Alvarez, Carlos Alberto, .judgement .319:585) .This .argument .was .reiterated .by .this . Office .in .its .ruling .in .the .case .Marquevich, Roberto Jose .S C M .216, .L XXXVII .of .18 .July . 2002, .to .which .you .referred .for .reasons .of .brevity .in .the .Judgement .of .3 .April .2003 .The . ruling .said .that .“if .the .issue .under .discussion .is .the .constitutional .validity .of .the .institution .of .judicial .proceedings .against .a .judge, .then .the .mere .institution .of .such .proceedings .

    . Chapter .VIII . 3 3 would .immediately .infringe .the .guarantee, .in .which .case .it .would .be .pointless .to .expect . final .judgement .to .be .passed .against .the .person, .especially .when .immunity .is .not .personal . but .protects .the .institution .and .the .free .exercise .of .judicial .functions”

    3 . The .essence .of .the .extradition .trial .is .the .discussion .on .“the .identity .of .the .person .whose .extradition .is .requested .and .fulfilment .of .the .requirements .laid .down .by .the . applicable .laws .or .treaties” .(Judgements .139:94; .150:316; .212:5; .262:409; .265:219; .289:216; . 298:138; .304:1609; .and .308:887, .among .many .others)

    In .the .present .case, .this .would .be .verification .of .all .the .requirements .laid .down .by .the . Montevideo .Treaty .on .International .Penal .Law .of .1889: .the .jurisdiction .of .the .requesting . State; .that .the .nature .or .gravity .of .the .offence .justifies .handing .the .person .over .(it .is .punishable .by .at .least .two .years .imprisonment, .does .not .involve .political .crimes .or .crimes .against . the .internal .or .external .security .of .a .State .and .does .not .involve .duelling, .adultery, .insults .and . defamation .or .crimes .against .religion); .that .documents .are .submitted .which .under .the .laws . of .that .State .authorize .the .imprisonment .and .trial .of .the .accused; .that .the .crime .is .not .time-barred; .and .that .the .person .has .not .already .been .punished .for .the .same .crime .(articles .19 .to .

    23) .It .will .also .be .necessary .to .verify .whether .the .penalty .to .be .applied .is .the .death .penalty, . in .which .case .the .substitution .of .a .lesser .penalty .must .be .requested .(article .29); .whether .any . other .requests .for .extradition .have .been .made .by .other .countries, .so .that .the .person .can .be . handed .over .to .the .country .where .the .most .serious .crime .was .committed .(article .27); .and . whether .the .person .has .been .granted .asylum .(articles .15 .and .16)

    As .can .be .seen, .neither .the .Treaty .nor .the .corresponding .law, .mention .that .the...

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