Category Archives: Inter-American System

IACHR Special Rapporteur Releases Comprehensive Report on Freedom of Expression and the Internet

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Screen Shot 2014-07-08 at 9.04.10 PMIn a new report, the regional human rights expert on freedom of expression in the Americas identifies principles and standards to guide States in their regulation of online communication. On June 27, 2014, the Office of the Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) released the report, Freedom of Expression and the Internet, specifically addressing the challenges of protecting the right to freedom of expression in a digital world. [IACHR Press Release] Notably, the report draws on the standards and doctrine of the United Nations, African, and European human rights systems, in addition to those of the Inter-American system. The publication is a useful tool for activists, human rights advocates, civil society organizations, judges, regulators, and others who encounter challenges related to the intersections of online communication and fundamental rights.

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World Refugee Day 2014 Draws Attention to Record Number of Displaced Persons

Credit: UNHCR
Credit: UNHCR

Credit: UNHCR

On Friday, June 20th the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and nations around the world marked World Refugee Day with diverse tributes and activities. In its efforts to raise awareness about the struggles faced by refugees, UNHCR emphasized that the number of displaced persons in 2013 was the highest in the post-World War II era.  [UNHCR: World Refugee Day] Read more

New Inter-American Commission Session Report Includes Details on the Status of Decisions, Rights Conditions in the Americas

Commissioner Felipe González, and to his right, Commissioner James Cavallaro during the 150th Session
Credit: Daniel Cima/IACHR
Commissioner Felipe González, and to his right, Commissioner James Cavallaro during the 150th Session Credit: Daniel Cima/IACHR

Commissioner Felipe González, and to his right, Commissioner James Cavallaro during the 150th Session
Credit: Daniel Cima/IACHR

For apparently the first time, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has published a detailed report concerning its most recent session that: identifies forthcoming decisions on the admissibility and merits of petitions; lists the working meetings held between members of the Commission, States, and civil society; summarizes the information gathered through thematic hearings on a range of rights topics; and, describes the progress made toward friendly settlements, among other issues. See IACHR, Report on the 150th Session of the IACHR (2014). The report is full of information that will be of use to petitioners and advocates and which, until now, had not been made publicly available in many instances. Read more

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

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vzla

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
Credit:ECtHR

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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