Judging Inter-American Human Rights

Photo by Artem Beliaikin

Dr Patricia Palacios Zuloaga, Lecturer in International Human Rights Law at the University of Essex, published a new paper titled ‘Inter-American Human Rights: The Riddle of Compliance with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights’.

The article argues that the use of compliance studies to evaluate the effectiveness of international human rights courts can produce misleading results because a focus on compliance considers the behaviour of only one stakeholder in the dynamic that is human rights adjudication: the state.

A survey of petitioners in cases before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (‘the Inter-American Court’), together with a review of literature surrounding strategic litigation before the Inter-American System, demonstrate how civil society organisations value the declarative justice provided by the Court, how they mobilise around human rights litigation and how adept they are at deploying rulings in such a way as to produce impact beyond compliance and even in the absence of any compliance at all.

The article is published in Volume 42, Issue 2 (pp. 392-433) of the Human Rights Quarterly, a journal which is widely recognised as the leader in the field of human rights.

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