Category Archives: Inter-American System

Join the Conversation: Engaging with Regional Human Rights Mechanisms

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Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 8.02.52 AMJoin the International Justice Resource Center and the New Tactics community for an online conversation on Engaging Regional Human Rights Mechanisms from April 21 to 25, 2014. IJRC’s executive director, Lisa Reinsberg, will join experts and practitioners from around the world in discussing the practical details of seeking justice, accountability, and reform through the regional human rights systems. Read more

IACtHR Hears Cases involving Forced Disappearance, Indigenous Land Rights, Torture, and Violence Against Women in its 50th Special Session

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights in sessionCredit: IACtHR
The Inter-American Court of Human Rights in sessionCredit: IACtHR

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights in session
Credit: IACtHR

From March 31 to April 4, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights celebrated its 50th Special Session at its headquarters in San José, Costa Rica. The Court held public hearings on three pending cases concerning forced disappearance, indigenous land rights, and torture in arbitrary detention. The Court also  conducted private deliberations to prepare its judgment in a case concerning the alleged failure to properly investigate a woman’s disappearance and death. [IACtHR Press Release (Spanish)] Video recordings from the public hearings are archived in the Court’s Multimedia Gallery. Read more

New Educational Videos and Handbooks on the Inter-American Human Rights System

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IJRC is pleased to share some new informational tools for advocates and individual complainants in the Americas, which can now be found in the Online Resource Hub. Our popular animated video and legal handbook on the Inter-American human rights system have been revised to reflect important changes in the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ Rules of Procedure and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ jurisdiction. In addition the updated English and Spanish versions, new Portuguese and Haitian Creole versions of both of these resources are tailored to assist advocates in Brazil and Haiti.

IJRC is grateful to the International Bar Association Foundation for its invaluable support of this project.

The videos’ 4 animated chapters address the following topics:

1. What is the Inter-American System?

2. What Rights Are Protected by the Inter-American System?

3. How to Present a Petition or Request for Precautionary Measures

4. How the Commission Processes Petitions and Requests

The fifth chapter of each video features interviews with experienced practitioners who share insights into effective advocacy before the Inter-American Commission and Court. To view the five chapters separately, visit IJRC’s Vimeo page.


The legal handbook provides more detailed explanations and sources on the Inter-American System, its history, components, mandate, and jurisprudence. The manual includes specific guidance on preparing petitions, and what petitioners can expect throughout the decision-making process. Other chapters provide more general advice and tips on researching international human rights law and documenting human rights abuses. Readers will find all of the treaties and other instruments applied by the Inter-American Commission and Court, along with those bodies’ governing documents, in the manual annexes.

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For more information, visit IJRC’s webpage on the Inter-American Human Rights System.

International Human Rights Bodies Condemn Violence, Gov’t Responses to Protests in Thailand, Ukraine, and Venezuela



Tensions have escalated in Thailand, Ukraine, and Venezuela in recent weeks as political protests have given rise to violent clashes and political upheaval. The United Nations and international human rights bodies have called upon each government to engage in meaningful dialogue to address these conflicts and develop solutions. [OHCHR; COE; UN News Centre] UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon emphasized that “there should be no place for violence by any side in resolving political differences and disputes.” [UNRead more

IACtHR to Hear Cases Involving Extrajudicial Killings in Peru, Guatemala, and Venezuela during 102nd Regular Session

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights will hear expert and witness testimony in three pending cases concerning extrajudicial executions, convene two private hearings on States’ compliance with prior decisions, and deliberate on the merits of two cases concerning alleged criminal due process violations during its ongoing 102nd Regular Session, being held from January 27 through February 7 at its headquarters in San Jose, Costa Rica. [IACtHR Press Release (Spanish)]

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights in sessionCredit: IACtHR

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights in session
Credit: IACtHR

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European Court of Human Rights Hears Extraordinary Rendition Cases, as "War on Terror" Controversies Continue

Hassan v UK

Hearing in Hassan v. UK

Over the past week, the European Court of Human Rights has held hearings in several cases relating to the “war on terror,” at the same time as the United States has forcibly repatriated two Guantanamo Bay detainees, despite their fears of persecution. The following post summarizes these developments and – in follow-up to this previous post - also surveys recent advances in other cases concerning extraordinary rendition, torture, and secret detention sites that have been brought before regional and international human rights bodies.

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Pinochet-Era Torture Victim Awarded Reparation by Inter-American Court of Human Rights for Chile’s Inadequate Investigation

In its first judgment in favor of a living survivor of Pinochet era abuses, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) has found Chile in violation of its obligations to investigate and remedy the arbitrary detention and torture of Mr. Leopoldo Garcia Lucero, who was left permanently disabled by the treatment he suffered in the 1970s.  See I/A Court H.R., Case of Garcia Lucero and others v. Chile. Preliminary Objections, Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of August 28, 2013. Series C No. 627.  The case raised questions of the IACtHR’s temporal jurisdiction, the adequacy of domestic remedies, and what full reparation for torture victims should comprise.

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Upcoming Sessions: African, Inter-American, and European Human Rights Mechanisms

IACHR in SessionCredit: Eddie Arrossi / IACHR

IACHR in Session
Credit: Eddie Arrossi / IACHR

This week, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACPHR), Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) will begin holding sessions.

During their sessions, all three bodies will evaluate human rights conditions in their regions and consider State compliance with the duties and obligations set forth in regional human rights treaties.

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Ongoing Special Session of Inter-American Court of Human Rights Focuses on Rights of Child Migrants

Public hearing before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

Public hearing before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

From October 7 to 11, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (Court) will be holding its 48th Special Session in Mexico City. During this session, the Court will hold hearings regarding one contentious case and a forthcoming advisory opinion, both concerning the rights of migrants.

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