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The Court of Justice of the Cartagena Agreement, exercising the authority granted in article 14 of the Treaty creating it, hereby issues the following at a plenary session:



General Provision

Article 1.- These rules expand on the rules established in the Bylaws concerning the organization and operation of the Court and the legal proceedings that take place before this judicial authority.


Magistrates and deputies

Article 2.-† The magistratesí period in office shall begin on January 2 of the year that marks the end of their predecessorsí term in office.

Article 3.- The swearing in and taking oath of magistrates and deputies shall be recorded in a minute book kept by the Secretary.

Article 4.- The procedure for lifting a magistrateís immunity in accordance with the provisions set forth in article 5 of the Bylaws shall be as follows: Once the request is received, the magistrate shall be notified and will be given five days to be heard. The Court may establish a period for receiving the corresponding information and dealing with the request at a plenary session.

The procedure for lifting the immunity will have a reserved nature.

Article 5.- Deputies shall be informed of their election in the same way as the principal magistrates and they will be asked to state their acceptance or refusal. For those who do not accept, the procedure established in article 10 of the Treaty will be followed.

Article 6.- Deputies shall replace, in their respective order, the principal magistrates temporarily in cases of impediment, objection or leave, and until the end of their period in the event of a removal, resignation, permanent disability, death, extinction of the appointment in the case of item a) of Article 8 of the Bylaws or vacancy in the case of item 3 of Article 5 of the Bylaws.

Article 7.- During the time that deputies are replacing magistrates, they shall earn the same salary as their principal.

Article 8.- The Court President shall give the Government of the host country advance notice of the termination of magistratesí periods thirty days before the beginning of the term mentioned in Article 9 of the Bylaws, so that it can follow the procedure envisaged therein.

The Court President shall proceed in the same way when the two deputies called upon either resign, excuse themselves or fail to show up to replace the principal magistrate.

Article 9.- Magistrates may request leave without pay for up to a year, providing they do not carry out activities that are incompatible with the role of a Court magistrate.

They may also obtain sick leave of up to six months, in accordance with personnel regulations.


The President

Article 10.-During the first week after the annual holidays, the Court President shall be appointed by casting lots. Recently appointed magistrates shall not participate in the election if those who have served longer have not been President. Neither may deputy magistrates be appointed, unless they assume the role of principal magistrate. Once lots have been cast, the President shall immediately assume the role, after taking oath.

Article 11.-When the President is on leave or absent for any other reason, he shall be replaced by the magistrate who exercised the Presidency immediately before him.

The same procedure will apply to cases of impediment or objection to the President.

If the absence is final, the Court shall appoint a new President for the remainder of the period, following the same procedure envisaged in the previous article.

Article 12.-The following are the Presidentís duties:

a) Officially represent the Court.

b) Sign the Courtís deeds and contracts

c) Order the granting of copies and certifications, after notifying the parties.

d) Grant leave to magistrates and other officials for up to four days

e) Sign correspondence and inform the Court of the mail received

f) Call an extraordinary meeting of the Court and anticipate or extend its working hours when so required due to the urgency of the matter being tried.

g) Maintain discipline and impose sanctions on the Courtís administrative staff.

h) Take care that the Courtís regulations, agreements, resolutions and other provisions are fulfilled and executed.

i) Promptly prepare the draft annual budget and submit it to the consideration of the Court and the Commission.

Any other duties established in the Bylaws and other regulatory rules.


The Secretary

Article 13.- The Secretary shall be elected at a plenary session two months before the end of the period. Member Countries shall take turns filling the post of Secretary.

Article 14.- The following are the Secretaryís duties:

a) Well in advance, prepare the documents required for sessions and hearings.

b) Attend the sessions, unless stated otherwise in the Bylaws, in the Internal Rules or by the Court.

c) Receive the claims, representations and any other writs or communications submitted, make a note at the foot of the page of the date and time the documents were submitted and pass these documents on to the President no later than the next day.

d) Draft the minutes of Court sessions and, once approved, sign them together with the President.

e) Undertake studies, prepare documents and carry out the tasks indicated by the Court or the President.

f) On the first working day of each week, furnish the President with a chronological list of the cases to be solved, indicating the date on which they started.

g) Register, seal and sign court arrangements and court orders.

h) Issue the notifications of the claim, evidence, judgements and final case. Other notifications may be issued either by the Secretary or by the person appointed by him, under his responsibility.

i) Certify the authenticity of copies, attested instruments or reproductions under any court system, after the Presidentís decree.

j) Keep the case files and legal proceedings secret

k) Give the interested parties receipts for the applications, title deeds and other documents submitted.

l) Any other duties established in the Bylaws and regulations.

Article 15.-†The Secretary shall keep books and records on the following:

a) The submission of claims

b) Representatives, powers of attorney and advisors of the parties

c) Summons for magistrates to attend sessions and hearings

d) Minutes of Court sessions

e) Resolutions and agreements

f) Appointments and acceptance of posts

g) Daily court orders

h) Final case files and judgements

Article 16.- The Secretary shall keep case files in his custody and under his responsibility and shall provide information to the representatives, attorneys and advisors of the parties, allowing them to make personal inquiries of the proceedings.

Article 17.- The Secretary is forbidden to:

a) Issue copies that are not limited to a literal transcript of the text of the documents comprising the respective case file.

b) Provide advice or reply to queries on matters arising in the Court.

c) Reveal the contents of questionnaires submitted in sealed envelopes.

Article 18.- The Secretary shall be responsible for the Court files, receiving them under inventory.

Article 19.- In the event of an impediment or objection to the Secretary, the Court shall appoint an Acting Secretary from among the permanent staff.


Organization, staff and administration 

Article 20.- The following are under the Courtís authority:

The Secretariat and the Administration and Services Bureau. The staff of these units, the selection system and the corresponding roles shall be established in the respective regulations.

Article 21.- The posts of Administration Director, Librarian and Accountant-Disbursement Officer shall be appointed for three year periods, preferably through a public job offer.



Article 22.-†The Court shall hold two kinds of plenary sessions: judicial sessions called by the President when relevant, and administrative sessions every Tuesday. For both sessions, the notice of meeting shall be channelled through the Secretary at least 24 hours in advance, stating the agenda for the meeting.

Article 23.- Plenary sessions may only be held if all five magistrates are present and decisions shall be adopted by the majority established in Article 25 of the Bylaws. The Court may decide that the voting should be secret.

Other sessions may be held with at least three of the five magistrates called to the meeting; decisions shall be adopted in accordance with the provisions set forth in paragraph 2 of Article 27 of the Bylaws.


Representatives, attorneys and advisors

Article 24.- Individuals who turn to the court for a legal proceeding shall be identified by their identity cards or passports.

Article 25.- Member Countries shall be represented by their national authorities duly certified before the Court, in accordance with Article 83 of the Bylaws. The Commission shall be represented by its Chairman and the Board by its Coordinator, in accordance with their regulations.

Article 26.- Companies shall act through their representatives, whose qualifications shall be accredited in accordance with the provisions set forth in the legislation of each Member Country.

Article 27.- Member Countries, the Commission and the Board shall designate their proxies through an official letter addressed to the Court President. Individuals and companies shall do so with a power of attorney or mandate granted before a competent Notary or Judge, in accordance with the formalities in force in the respective Member Country.

Article 28.- Attorneys shall accredit their qualification with the corresponding professional identification card.

Article 29.- The Court shall grant representatives, attorneys and advisors a credential that will identify them and enable them to gain access to the facilities and guarantees they are entitled to.

Article 30.- The Court may apply the following disciplinary sanctions to representatives, proxies, attorneys or advisors:

a) A written or verbal admonition

b) The suspension of the right to speak at a hearing when an admonition was not heeded

c) A communication to the Bar Association of the respective Member Country and to the mandator of the penalties imposed.

The Court may also order that offensive or similar statements contained in written documents should be crossed out or returned. Should the written document contain a petition, a certified copy shall be kept in the case file.


The procedure


General Provisions

Article 31.-††† The actions of nullification and noncompliance envisaged in the Treaty shall be processed in accordance with the procedure established in the Bylaws and in the rules established herein.

Article 32.- Proceedings before the Court shall be processed on ordinary paper and shall not incur any charges except for the cost of any copy, reproduction or similar work at a price approved by the Court.

Article 33.- When processing the case, the Court shall issue decrees on important matters of procedure, interlocutory decrees to solve previous or incidental secondary matters, final decrees that put an end to the trial before the main question has been decided and judgements deciding the main question.

Article 34.- In addition to the judicial decisions, the Court shall issue the respective general regulations in the form of Agreements and administrative decisions of a specific nature, referred to as Resolutions.

Article 35.- Matters of simple procedural nature shall be dealt with by a trial magistrate appointed by the President for each case.

Article 36.- The Court shall conduct the proceeding in accordance with the provisions set forth in the Bylaws. To that end it may take all the necessary sets to order and speed up the trial and to reject any petitions that are obviously intended to delay or mislead the case. Petitions that are admitted may be resolved before or during the judgement, depending on the nature and effects of the matter being tried.



Article 37.- Notification of the claim to Member Countries shall be made through a telex to the national authority authorized before the Court to represent them in the actions and procedures envisaged in the Treaty and in the Bylaws. The Secretary shall deliver a copy of the claim and of the judicial decision, if relevant, to the Chief of the Member Countryís regular diplomatic mission in Quito so that it can be remitted to the competent national authority.

Should the notification be to the Republic of Ecuador, the copy of the claim and the judicial decision shall be delivered to the competent authorityís office.

Article 38.- Notification of the claim to the Commission and the Board shall be made through a telex to the Chairman or Coordinator, as the case may be. Copies of the claim and judicial decision shall be sent by mail or by diplomatic bag.

Article 40.- The period for contesting the claim shall be counted from the date the telex was sent to the competent national authority, the Commission Chairman or the Board Coordinator, as the case may be.

Article 41.- The notifications ordered by articles 41, 45, 47, 57, 59 and 60 of the Bylaws shall be made in Quito to the person and place established by the parties for that purpose.

Minutes of such formalities shall be drawn up and signed by the Secretary and the recipient. Should the latter refuse to sign, the Secretary shall record this fact and the receipt of the notification shall be acknowledged.

Article 42.- The notification to the judges or courts referred to in Article 64 of the Bylaws shall be mailed.

Article 43.- When the Court orders the claimant to rectify a demand that does not state the address in Quito, the notification of that decision shall be mailed.

Article 44.- No other notifications shall be made except those envisaged in the Bylaws. The parties must turn to the Court for information on the decisions taken in the proceedings.

Article 45.- Notifications shall be made between 08:00 and 18:00 hours on waking days. In special cases and by means of a specific decision, the Court may rule that notifications can be made on other days.



Article 46.- Every day except holidays will be considered working day from 09:00 to 12:00 hours and from 15:00 to 18:00 hours.

Saturdays and Sundays, the Courtís annual vacation period, Easter Thursday, Good Friday and the following days shall be considered holidays in accordance with Ecuadorian legislation: January 1, May 1, May 24, July 24, August 10, October 9, October 12, November 2, November 3, December 6 and December 25.

Article 47.- The Court shall have collective annual vacations starting on December 16 and ending on January 15 of the next year. Terms will be suspended during this vacation period.

Article 48.- No legal formalities may be practiced outside working hours or on non-working days, unless specifically ordered by the Court, either at its own initiative or at the request of one of the parties.

Article 49.- Continuous days shall be counted for the purpose of terms, excluding the starting date.

Should the term end on a non-working day, the end of the term shall be postponed until eighteen hundred hours of the next working day.

Based on distance, the main terms shall be extended as follows: 15 days for Bolivia, 8 days for Colombia and 10 days each for Peru and Venezuela.

The distance term shall be calculated in the same way as the main term.

Article 50.- When the Bylaws or the Internal Rules established herein order that parties must be notified, theterms shall be counted from the date of the last notification.


Actions of Nullification or Noncompliance

Section One

The Claim

Article 51.- The claim shall be addressed to the Court President and must be signed by the party and its attorney. The original and three copies of the claim must be presented personally to the Secretary. The claim and all the documents attached to it may also be mailed. In that case, if the claimant is an individual or a company, the signatures of the party or the representative and the attorney must be duly authenticated before a competent Notary or Judge.

Article 52.- In addition to the requirements established in article 36 of the Bylaws, the claim shall contain the address in Quito to which the claimantís notifications should be sent.

Article 53.- For the purposes envisaged in item b) of article 37 of the Bylaws, an authentic copy is understood to be that issued by the competent authority of the respective Member Country.

Article 54.- The proof referred to in item b) of article 38 of the Bylaws shall be recorded by the Board, stating the date on which the request envisaged in article 24 of the Treaty was submitted.

Article 55.- When receiving the claim, the Secretary shall stamp the original and the copies, recording the time and date submitted and stating whether the claim was submitted personally or by mail. The Secretary shall return one of these copies to the claimant, number the case file, enter it into the respective book and then immediately pass it on to the President, who will notify the Court.

Article 56.- When relevant and so that the claimant can rectify the claim or submit relevant documents, the Court shall grant a period that must not exceed fifteen days. Once this period expires without the claimant fulfilling the Court order, the claim and all attached documents shall be returned to the claimant. A certified copy of the claim shall remain in the Court.

Article 57.- The Court shall decide whether the claim is acceptable within five days after it was notified of the case.

Article 58.- Once accepted by the Court, the claim shall neither be reformed nor complemented.

Section Two

Defendantís Plea

Article 59.- Should the defendantís plea fail to meet the requirements established in Article 43 of the Bylaws, the Court shall order the defendant to rectify it, stating the points that must be completed or clarified. Should the defendant fail to rectify the plea within the period granted by the Court, the procedure set forth in Article 44 of the Bylaws shall be followed. The Secretary shall record this fact in the case file.

Article 60.- The defendantís plea must include the address in Quito to which notifications shall be sent. Failure to comply with this requirement shall authorize the Court to rule that the notifications to the defendant should be posted on the doors of the Secretariat. The Secretary shall record this fact in the case file.

This notification system shall cease once the defendant indicates the place to which notifications should be sent.

Section Three


Article 61.- At its own initiative or at the request of one of the parties, the Court shall decide whether evidence is required. If so, it shall establish the facts that require proof and how and when to submit the evidence, issuing the relevant orders to the parties, who will be duly notified. Otherwise, the Court President shall establish the date and time of the hearing, to which end it shall summon the parties.

Article 62.- The period during which evidence must be submitted shall be decreed within eight days after the defendantís plea, its rectification or the Secretaryís certification that the claim was not contested.

Article 63.- At its own initiative and at any stage of the case before the judgement, the Court may order whatever evidence it considers necessary to clarify the facts.

Article 64.- Each party is under the obligation to prove the alleged facts and to cover the expenses incurred in obtaining the evidence.

Article 65.- The Court shall order the evidence to be submitted once both parties have been notified. The Court shall establish the date and time that evidence will be received, when relevant.

Article 66.- Should the Court consider it advisable, it can directly call upon national judges of Member Countries to carry out the formalities involved in receiving the evidence and fulfilling other legal obligations.

Article 67.- Before the hearing, the Court shall meet in order to study the case and prepare the hearing.

Section Four

The Hearing

Article 68.- Once the period for submitting evidence is over, the Court President shall establish the date and time of the hearing and shall summon the parties.

Should the period for submitting evidence of several cases end simultaneously, the hearings shall be established in accordance with the date on which the claims were submitted.

When so justified by special circumstances, the President may give priority to the study of a specific case.

Article 69.- When the Court decides that a hearing should be private, the respective minutes may not be published.

Article 70.- Parties shall only participate through their attorneys. However, at the Courtís criteria and in order to clarify facts or effects of a technical nature, they may participate personally or through their advisors or experts.

Article 71.- During the course of the debate, the President and the magistrates may question the representatives or attorneys of the parties, as well as their advisors or experts.

Article 72.-The Court President shall establish the time available to the parties for their statements. The same procedure shall apply when the parties are asked to make use of their right to reply and counter reply.

Statements must be limited to the subject of the claim and duly respect the Court and the parties.

The President may restrict the time granted to anyone who violates the rules governing the behavior of litigants during proceedings.

Article 73.- At the end of the debate and before hearing the conclusions, the Court shall meet to continue studying the case and, if relevant, make the corresponding arrangements concerning the provisions set forth in Article 53 of the Bylaws.

Section Five

The Judgement

Article 74.- On the next working day after the hearing, the Court shall meet privately to give the magistrates the opportunity to exchange points of view regarding aspects that could concern the verdict.

To this end, the President shall mention the points which, in his opinion, should be discussed and resolved by the Court. Each magistrate may make observations to the Presidentís statement and indicate any other aspect considered relevant.

Article 75.- Within the next two working days, each magistrate shall submit a separate note stating the following:

a) Whether or not any of the points mentioned in the judgement should be eliminated

b) The exact questions that the Court must resolve

c) Their provisional opinion regarding the solutions that should be given to the questions mentioned in the previous item and the reasons for theiropinion.

d) The provisional conclusion regarding the solution to the matter.

Copies of these notes shall be distributed among the magistrates.

Article 76.- Another discussion shall be held the next day, during which all magistrates, in order, starting with the most recently qualified lawyers, shall express their opinion of the legal facts arising from the study of the matter and suggest solutions. They can also make observations or request clarification of the statements made by other magistrates. Any addition to a point or measure shall be suggested in writing.

Article 77.- Based on the opinions expressed during the discussions and in the written notes, the President shall appoint two magistrates from among those whose spoken and written opinions were more in keeping with the views of the majority at that time, to draw up the draft judgement. The President shall participate in the drafting Commission, providing he shares the opinion of the majority.

The drafting Commission shall have five days to submit the draft judgement to the Court, which shall immediately be distributed to the other magistrates.

Article 78.- Once the draft judgement has been distributed, the President shall call the other two magistrates to a plenary session for the final discussion and approval of the judgement.

The President shall ask the magistrates if they would like to make any changes in the draft judgement. If they suggest amendments that are accepted, the drafting Commission shall immediately make such amendments.

Once the final discussion ends, the President shall submit the draft judgement, including the amendments, if relevant, to the vote.

Article 79.- The Secretary shall attend the final discussion referred to in the previous article.

Article 80.- The judgement shall contain the specific decision regarding the points that were the object of the conflict and those brought up during the proceeding which the Court may have reserved for the final judgement.

Article 81.- In the judgement, the claimant shall be ordered to pay the costs when the action filed is declared unfounded; the defendant shall be ordered to pay the costs when the judgement declares the action well-founded.

There shall be no order to pay costs when the judgement declares the actions partly justified or when the Court considers that there were reasonable grounds for litigation.

Article 82.- For cases in which the payment of costs are ordered, the Court shall establish the amount to be paid by the debtor for the expenses incurred in the proceeding and in lawyersí fees, in a separate decree. To that end, creditors must submit to the Court all vouchers of the expenses incurred during the proceeding and an estimate oflawyersí fees.

Debtors may object to the amount of expenditure and fees. The Court, after reviewing the statements of the parties and based on the regulations governing professional fees of Member Countries, shall determine the amount of the costs.


Final and transitory provisions

Article 83.- These internal rules shall enter into force on the date of their publication in the Official Gazette of the Cartagena Agreement.

Article 84.- For the years 1984 and 1985, the Courtís presidency shall be successively held by the magistrates appointed for a 3-year term. Afterwards, the rule set forth in article 10 of these internal rules shall be applied.

Article 85.- These internal rules contain the reforms approved by the Court by means of a Resolution dated May 9, 1984.

Issued in the city of Quito on the ninth day of May, nineteen hundred and eighty-four.


Luis Carlos Sachica A.



       Hugo Poppe Entrambasaguas††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††         Estuardo Hurtado Larrea

††††††††††† MAGISTRATE††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† MAGISTRATE




         Gonzalo Ortiz de Zevallos                                             Jose Guillermo Andueza A

               MAGISTRATE                                                         MAGISTRATE



Ivan Gabaldon Marquez


I hereby certify that this is a true copy of the original document kept in the Court files. Quito, May fifteenth, nineteen hundred and eighty-four. IVAN GABALDON MARQUEZ, SECRETARY.




Single Article.- To publish the only text of the Courtís Internal Rules dated March 15 1984, approved by means of a Resolution dated May 9, nineteen hundred and eighty-four.


Luis Carlos Sachica A.



Hugo Poppe Entrambasaguas                      Estuardo Hurtado Larrea

     MAGISTRATE                                           MAGISTRATE

Gonzalo Ortiz de Zevallos                               Jose Guillermo Andueza AcuŮa

†††††††††††††† MAGISTRATE ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† MAGISTRATE

Ivan Gabaldon Marquez