Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

Filter category

Feature post image

Overcoming the Backlog in the Initial Review of Petitions in the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

Human rights systems may be victims of their own success, as they can become dysfunctional under the unbearable weight of their massive caseloads. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (Commission or IACHR) has faced this challenge in the past two decades with regard to the enormous backlog of pending applications in the Initial Review, the first phase of the petition process in the Inter-American Human Rights System (IAHRS). The Initial Review entails a preliminary study of each application by the Executive Secretariat of the Commission to screen out (i) incomplete petitions in light of the mandatory information required under Article 28 of the IACHR’s Rules of Procedure (RoP), and (ii) petitions that manifestly do not fulfil the admissibility requirements under Articles 31-34 of the RoP and Articles 46-47 of the American Convention on Human Rights. If one considers the percentage of dismissed petitions as the determinant factor, the Initial Review indeed constitutes the most significant ‘filter’ of the IAHRS: on average, between…

Read more

Military Courts and Human Rights Violations in Brazil from the Perspective of the Inter-American Human Rights System

The Supreme Federal Court of Brazil will soon rule (under a constitutional review case called Ação Direta de Inconstitucionalidade no. 5032, commonly referred to as ADI 5032) whether members of the armed forces that commit crimes against civilians during peacetime should be tried before civilian or military courts. This judgment is critical for Brazil, a country…

Read more

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…

Read more

Venezuela denounces American Convention on Human Rights

The Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela has given notice of its intention to withdraw in a year’s time from the leading regional human rights treaty in the Americas, with the Secretary-General of the Organization of American States (OAS) having confirmed receipt of the notice of denunciation here: (Rumours back in July had suggested that Venezuela…

Read more

More Human Rights Reforms Under Discussion

Readers interested in reform within the international human rights system, including the reform of the UN human rights treaty monitoring system previously discussed here, may be interested in yesterday’s announcement by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), adding a regional dimension to discussions. The IACHR serves as the focal point…

Read more