Inter-American Court of Human Rights

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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 international human rights courts have developed tools to strengthen the impact of their decisions “on the ground”. She further examines how domestic courts perceive their role as “compliance partners” and how the greater interaction between them and international courts has increased the possibility of collaboration, yet also the likelihood of tensions and conflicts with their international counterparts. Domestic courts, she suggests, ultimately act as “gatekeepers” modulating the effect of international decisions over the domestic legal system.

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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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The Inter-American Court’s Advisory Function Continues to Boom – A few comments on the requests currently pending

    Just on the same day that Evo Morales had asked the Bolivians to re-elect him for the fourth time as President, Colombia’s President Iván Duque apparently followed his words with deeds by filing a further request for an advisory opinion to the IACtHR. Already in his opening speech at the occasion of the Court’s last…

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Holding States to Account for Gender-Based Violence: The Inter-American Court of Human Rights’ decisions in López Soto vs Venezuela and Women Victims of Sexual Torture in Atenco vs Mexico

In two recent decisions, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) has affirmed the existing binding obligations of States to address gender-based violence against women by State and non-State actors. The López Soto vs Venezuela decision (published in November 2018) is the IACtHR’s first ruling on State responsibility for acts of sexual torture and sexual slavery by…

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