The Inter-American Human Rights System
The Law and Politics of Institutional Change
At the time of the adoption of the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man in 1948, there was little indication that the Declaration would ultimately yield a highly institutionalized system comprised of a quasi-judicial Inter-American Commission and an authoritative Inter-American Court of Human Rights. Today, however, the Inter-American Human Rights System (IAHRS) has emerged as a central actor in the global human rights regime.
This comprehensive volume explores the institutional changes and transformations that the IAHRS has undergone since its creation, offering contributions and insights from a variety of disciplines including history, law, and political science. The book shows how institutional change has affected and been affected by the System’s normative leanings, rules of procedure and institutional design, as well as by the position of the IAHRS within the broader landscape of the Americas. The authors examine institutional change from a variety of angles, including the process of change in historical context, normative and legal developments, and the dynamic relationship between the IAHRS and other regional and international human rights institutions.
This book was originally published as a special issue of The International Journal of Human Rights.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction: Institutional change and the Inter-American Human Rights System Part 1: Institutional Change in Historical Perspective 2. Silence, hindrances and omissions: the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Brazilian military dictatorship 3. Assessing the record of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Latin America’s rural conflict zones (1979–2016) Part 2: Normative and Legal Change 4. The international authority of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights: a critique of the conventionality control doctrine 5. Two steps forward, one step back: reflections on the jurisprudential turn of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights on domestic reparation programmes 6. Preventive reparations at a crossroads: the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and Colombia’s search for peace Part 3: Challenges and Change 7. Institutional complexity in the Inter-American Human Rights System: an investigation of the prohibition of torture 8. The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights’ new Strategic Plan: an opportunity for true strengthening
Par Engstrom is Associate Professor of Human Rights at the Institute of the Americas at University College London, UK. He is the editor of The Inter-American Human Rights System: Impact Beyond Compliance (2018) and the academic coordinator of the Inter-American Human Rights Network.
Courtney Hillebrecht is the Samuel Clark Waugh Professor of International Relations and Director of the Forsythe Family Program on Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA, where she is also an Associate Professor of Political Science. She is the author of Domestic Politics and International Human Rights Tribunals: The Problem of Compliance (2014).