Over the past sixty years the regional human rights systems have surpassed the UN human rights bodies in affording protection to the victims of human rights violations. Most of these systems have courts that are empowered to issue legally binding judgments and reparations for violations of human rights, which states have been unwilling to accord the UN system. The essays selected for this volume examine the structure and functioning of the principal regional human rights systems in the world today: 1) the Inter-American Commission and Court of Human Rights, 2) the European Court of Human Rights, 3) the African Commission and Court of Human and Peoples’ Rights and 4) the ASEAN Intergovernmental Human Rights Commission. These systems guarantee primarily civil and political rights. Central to all four systems is the necessity of a democratic form of government to guarantee these rights, although not all governments, parties to these regional treaties, are democracies. These articles trace the history of these systems, in particular, the expansion of their membership to include almost all independent countries in the region, and their evolution towards recognition of a 'right to democracy'.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction; Bibliography. Part I Overview: Innovations in the European system of human rights protection: is enlargement compatible with reinforcement?, Peter Leuprecht. Part II The Inter-American System: The forgotten crucible: the Latin American influence on the universal human rights idea, Mary Ann Glendon; Introduction; Jo M. Pasqualucci; State compliance with court-ordered reparations, Jo M. Pasqualucci; The revised OAS Charter and the protection of human rights, Thomas Buergenthal; The inter-American human rights system at the dawn of the new century: recommendations for improvement of its mechanism of protection, AntÃ´nio Augusto CanÃ§ado Trindade; The inter-American system for the protection of human rights, Christina M. Cerna; History and action: the inter-American human rights system and the role of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Robert K. Goldman; United States ratification of the American Convention on Human Rights, Joseph Diab; The role of the Inter-American Commission and Court of Human Rights in the protection of human rights: achievements and contemporary challenges, MÃ³nica Pinto. Part III The European System: The European Court of Human Rights, Christiane Bourloyannis-Vrailas; The European Court of Human Rights after 50 years, Anthony Lester; Rethinking the European Court of Human Rights, Luzius Wildhaber; The European Court of Human Rights: the past, the present, the future, Luzius Wildhaber; Europe as a common home (address to the Council of Europe, 6 July 1989), Mikhail Gorbachev; Speech delivered at the ’Strasbourg dialogues’ public forum, 2 October 2009, Mikhail Gorbachev; Council of Europe, Parliamentary Assembly, Opinion 193 (1996), application by Russia for membership of the Council of Europe; A human rights law of internal armed conflict: the European Court of Human Rights in Chechnya, William Abresch; ’Gentlemen at home, hoodlums elsewhere?’ The extra-territorial exercise of power by British forces in I
Christina M. Cerna is Adjunct Professor at Georgetown University Law Centre, USA. She also worked for the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Washington, USA as Principal Specialist in Human Rights and retired after 33 years with the OAS.