Inter-American Court of Human Rights

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Don’t Leave Me This Way: Regulating Treaty Withdrawal in the Inter-American Human Rights System

What happens after a state party denounces a human rights treaty? Which legal obligations continue and how should other member states react? On December 16, 2020, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) addressed those central questions in a much-anticipated advisory opinion on the procedure for and effects of withdrawal from the American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR) and the Charter of the Organization of American States (OAS) (available in Spanish here, discussions in Spanish here and here) Besides affirming core rules on treaty termination, the IACtHR developed three insightful but highly controversial elements in its approach to state withdrawal: First, the Court states that the decision to withdraw must follow a specific domestic procedure. Secondly, it requires that state authorities have to take the decision to withdraw in good faith. Ultimately, it connects the debate on treaty termination to the concept of a collective guarantee in the Inter-American human rights system which provides guidelines for institutional bodies and other member states in a situation…

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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…

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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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