international employment law firm alliance L&E Global

Chile: Superior Court of Justice issued a ruling accepting the abandonment of the procedure in executive labour procedure

Last April the Antofagasta’s Court of Appeals (the “Court”) issued a controversial ruling, upon a case handled in a labour executive proceeding. In this trial, the joint and several defendants requested a ruling declaring abandoned the procedure based on the plaintiff’s inactivity.  Nonetheless, the labour court rejected such request. In response to this rejection, the defendants filed an appeal so that the Court could rule on the abandonment of the proceeding. The Court accepted and the abandonment of the proceeding was declared.

The content of this ruling is extremely interesting, considering it made the principle of due process and legal certainty prevail. The Court considered that even though the Labour Code provides that abandonment of the procedure is not applicable in labor matters, this rule would only be applicable to declaratory labour proceedings.  Hence, the prohibition does not affect executive labour proceedings and, therefore the abandonment could be applicable to them.  The Court stated that stating the opposite would mean that the obligation whose compliance is sought would not be subject to any statute of limitations, which in labour matters is an exception. Thus, the Court rationale is that failure to accept the abandonment of the proceeding in this case would affect legal certainty, the right of every person to have access to a rational and fair process and the right to equal treatment of the parties involved in the process.

Therefore, the Court revoked the ruling issued by the labour court which rejects the abandonment of the proceeding, declaring instead that the abandonment of the proceeding is allowed.

Key action point

In April 2023, the Court of Appeals of Antofagasta revoked the ruling of the labour court which rejected the claim of abandonment of the procedure in an executive labour trial and instead declared that the claim was accepted, indicating that the abandonment of the procedure in the executive labour trial is applicable.