Inter-American Court of Human Rights

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The subtle erosion of democracy in Latin America: the case of Lula in the Human Rights Committee

On 12 March 2022, the Human Rights Committee delivered its views on the complaint filed by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, former President of the Federal Republic of Brazil who was imprisoned in 2018 in the context of the anti-corruption operation known as ‘Operation Car Wash (in Portuguese, ‘Operação Lava Jato’). The representatives of Lula asked the Committee to find that Brazil had violated his rights against arbitrary deprivation of liberty, the right to a fair trial, the right to presumption of innocence, the right to privacy, and his political rights (Articles 9(1), 14(1) and (2), 17, and 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights). The Committee’s majority (15 against 2) found that the acts of the Brazilian State in the course of Operation Car Wash indeed violated the aforementioned articles of the Covenant (hereinafter ICCPR). It concluded that former President Lula had not been tried by an impartial tribunal, that his 580 days of arrest amounted to a wrongful imprisonment, and that Brazil had violated the Covenant by…

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The International Court of Justice’s 2022 Reparations Judgment in DRC v. Uganda: ‘Global Sums’ as the New Device for Human Rights-Based Inter-State Disputes

On 9 February 2022, the International Court of Justice issued its much-awaited Reparations Judgment in Armed Activities on the Territory of the Congo (Democratic Republic of the Congo v. Uganda) [hereafter, "2022 Reparations Judgment"], awarding the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) the global sum of US$330 Million as total compensation for damage caused by Uganda's violations…

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Vicky Hernández et al. v. Honduras: A Landmark Victory with a Bitter Aftertaste

On June 28, on International LGBT Pride Day, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) issued its ruling in Vicky Hernández et al. v. Honduras, the first case involving lethal violence against an LGBT person, specifically a trans woman, to reach the highest body of the Inter-American regional system. During the proceedings, Honduras denied that…

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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)…

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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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