American Convention on Human Rights

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Beyond “Good Neighborliness” in the ICJ 1 October 2018 Judgment in Bolivia v. Chile: Do Human Rights and Sustainable Development Obligate Creating Negotiated Access for Landlocked Bolivia to the Pacific Ocean?

On 1 October 2018, the International Court of Justice issued its Judgment on the Merits in Obligation to Negotiate Access to the Pacific Ocean (Bolivia v. Chile), finding, by 12 votes to 3, that Chile "did not undertake a legal obligation to negotiate sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean" for Bolivia and rejecting all other submissions of Bolivia.  While the Judgment minutely and carefully scrutinizes each treaty, exchange of notes, and statements of the parties for well over a century on the issue of access to the Pacific Ocean for landlocked Bolivia - and I have no difference with the Court's individual scrutiny and interpretation of each document and piece of evidence indicated in its Judgment on the Merits - it is remarkably curious that the dispute involving Bolivia's assertion of Chile's obligation to attempt good faith negotiation on access to the Pacific Ocean did not refer to nor invoke human rights or sustainable development needs as a possible basis to substantiate the urgency of cooperation necessary for both countries.  As seen from the image below (source…

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Inter-American Court of Human Rights condemns Venezuelan regime’s political persecution against the opposition in the San Miguel Sosa and others case

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (hereinafter, IACtHR) published a recent decision (only available in Spanish) in the San Miguel Sosa and others vs. Venezuela case, by means of which it rebuts frequent arguments relied on by the Chavista[d1] –i.e. based on the ideas of former president Hugo Chávez— regime of Nicolás Maduro that label external and foreign…

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The IACtHR Advisory Opinion: one step forward or two steps back for LGBTI rights in Costa Rica?

On 9th January 2018, the IACtHR issued Advisory Opinion No. 24 on gender identity, equality and non-discrimination for same-sex couples, a ground-breaking decision for the advancement of LGBTI rights in the Americas. However, the adverse effect it had on the recent presidential elections in Costa Rica may jeopardise this achievement. The Advisory Opinion was requested by…

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The Rise of Environmental Law in International Dispute Resolution: Inter-American Court of Human Rights issues Landmark Advisory Opinion on Environment and Human Rights

The Inter-American Court’s Advisory Opinion on Environment and Human Rights, released on 7 February 2018 (in Spanish only) (for brevity “AO”), is the latest and potentially most significant decision in a series of high profile international judicial rulings which acknowledge legal consequences for environmental harm. As recently as 2 February 2018, the International Court of Justice in…

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Human Rights and the Protection of the Environment: The Advisory Opinion of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

On 7 February 2018, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (the Court, IACtHR) issued the much awaited advisory opinion (A/O) concerning the obligations of States Parties to the American Convention on Human Rights (American Convention, ACHR) in respect of infrastructural works creating a risk of significant environmental damage to the marine environment of the Wider Caribbean Region.

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