Inter-American Court of Human Rights

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The Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Quest for Equality: The Fireworks Factory case

On 26 October 2020, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) published its judgment in the Case of the Workers of the Fireworks Factory in Santo Antônio de Jesus and their Families v. Brazil (Fireworks Factory case). The dispute concerned the Brazilian state's responsibility for the events surrounding an explosion in a fireworks factory in the town of Santo Antônio de Jesus, in the north-eastern region of the country, on 11 December 1998. Sixty people died in the explosion, among them forty women and twenty children, and six survived. Brazil was held responsible for a series of violations related to its having failed to regulate, supervise, and address the factory's extremely unsafe working conditions. This entry will focus on the IACtHR's findings concerning the right to equal protection of the law (Article 24 of the American Convention on Human Rights) and the respective reparations ordered—implementing a socioeconomic development program for the town's inhabitants. Firstly, we will discuss the novel way in which the IACtHR interpreted the content of the right to…

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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…

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The relationship between domestic and international courts: the need to incorporate judicial politics into the analysis

In the latest issue of EJIL, Raffaela Kunz carefully examines the complex relationship between domestic and international courts in human rights adjudication. Amidst the well-known backlash from governments, she draws attention to the growing resistance of domestic high courts to decisions by their international counterparts as well as the main features of this resistance. Kunz traces how…

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Justiciability of ‘implicit’ rights: Developments on the right to a healthy environment at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

On 6 February 2020, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) issued a landmark judgment on the protection of environmental rights as directly justiciable (original in Spanish). For the first time, the IACtHR found state responsibility for violations of the right to a healthy environment, adequate food, water and cultural identity. Such responsibility was based on article…

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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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