Administrative, Civil

In this case, the plaintiff is challenging three sanction decisions taken against him by the Superintendence for the Environment. The decisions of the Superintendence were taken to condemn several infractions to environmental law which happened in the management of the water treatment systems in the localities of Chol Chol, Gorbea and Freire and Pitrufquen.

The plaintiff sough a hierarchical appeals of the decisions to the executive director of the Superintendence for the Environment. After three years, the appeals of the plaintiff were dismissed by the executive director. As a result, the plaintiff appealed the decision of the executive director of the Superintendence for the Environment in front of the Tribunal for the Environment. The plaintiffs requested that the court cancelled the decisions sanctioning him because the infractions were time barred.

The Environmental Tribunal held that the three years delay used for the hierarchical appeals was excessive and unjustified. Indeed, the tribunal considered that the law grants a maximum period of 2 years to the administrations to answer an appeal. Finally, the tribunal considered that this excessive delay was a clear violation of administrative law but also of the right to a fair a rational procedure. As a result, the Tribunal cancelled the sanctions for procedural defect.