American Convention on Human Rights

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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 Costa Rica in 2016. the IACtHR was called to clarify the interpretation and scope of several articles of the American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR) in relation to the following questions: Considering that gender identity is a protected category within the American Convention, does the state have an obligation to recognise and facilitate the change of name of individuals in accordance with their own gender identity? If so, is the judicial procedure for the change of name, instead of an administrative one, contrary to the American Convention? According to the American Convention, is the current Costa Rican judicial procedure for the change of name not applicable to individuals who wish to change their name based on their…

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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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Environmental Damages, Environmental Reparations, and the Right to a Healthy Environment: The ICJ Compensation Judgment in Costa Rica v. Nicaragua and the IACtHR Advisory Opinion on Marine Protection for the Greater Caribbean

On 2 February 2018, the International Court of Justice issued a landmark judgment on compensation for environmental damages in Certain Activities Carried Out By Nicaragua in the Border Area (Costa Rica v. Nicaragua), Compensation Owed by the Republic of Nicaragua to the Republic of Costa Rica. The ICJ's decision was followed shortly thereafter on 9 February 2018 by…

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A Critical Assessment of Colombia’s Advisory Request before the IACtHR – and Why It Should Be Rejected

On 14 March 2016 Colombia filed an Advisory Opinion request before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR). The request poses three questions, which can be summarised as follows: The first question asks whether the American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR) entails extra-territorial obligations for a State when interpreted in light of a “treaty-based environmental protection system…

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