American Convention on Human Rights

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The Lhaka Honhat Case Of The Inter-American Court Of Human Rights: The Long-Awaited Granting Of 400,000 Hectares Under Communal Property Rights

On 6 February 2020, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (the Court) delivered a judgment in which it declared the international responsibility of the Argentine Republic for the violation of diverse rights of 132 indigenous communities of the Salta province, organised under the Lhaka Honhat Association. This is the first time the Court has condemned Argentina for the violation of the rights of indigenous peoples. The Lhaka Honhat Association demanded the granting of a unique communal property title to the land the 132 indigenous communities have been inhabiting, undisputedly, for at least 400 years. The claim was originally filed in 1991; because of the State’s failure to act, it was brought before the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights (the Commission), which determined in 2012 that the rights of the indigenous communities had been violated. As Argentina did not comply with the Commission’s recommendations, the claim was presented to the Court in 2018. In its recent ruling, the Court held that the indigenous communities have the right to a unique…

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We Can’t Breathe: UN OHCHR Experts Issue Joint Statement and Call for Reparations

No one on this planet could have failed to see the 8 minutes and 46 seconds in which George Floyd was killed. The United States signed the International Covenant on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in 1966, ratifying the same in 1994.  Article 2 of ICERD contains fundamental obligations assumed by parties to…

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Discriminatory torture of an LGBTI person: landmark precedent set by the Inter-American Court (Azul Rojas Marín and Another v. Peru)

In the midst of the coronavirus crisis, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) has issued a landmark judgment in the case of Azul Rojas Marín and Another v. Peru, enhancing the rights of LGBTI persons, and setting new standards with the potential to reduce the levels of violence suffered by this group both within…

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How to Protect Human Rights in Times of Corona? Lessons from the Inter-American Human Rights System

The American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR) has weathered many storms in its fifty years of existence. However, the challenges which arise from the Corona pandemic are unprecedented, also for the Inter-American human rights system. With many of its political and economic systems already under strain, the pandemic will have severe consequences on the enjoyment of civic freedoms…

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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…

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