CEJIL

Position Paper No. 10-The Selection Process of the Inter-American Commission and Court on Human Rights: Reflections on necessary reforms

Selection of members of the IACHR and I-A Court

Through this document, CEJIL shares its reflections on the selection processes for members of the Inter-American Commission and Court on Human Rights and compiles a series of proposals to improve current selection mechanisms at a national and international level in the hope that these reflections and proposals will promote fruitful debates between States, political bodies within the OAS, the Commission and the Court, civil society and other interested parties.


Type of publication:Position paper
Full version available in:
Year: 2014
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Message from Viviana Krsticevic on the case of Expelled Dominican and Haitian Persons vs. the Dominican Republic ruling

As a result of over a decade of international litigation, it was possible to establish that the individuals we represented were expelled from their own country in violation of the rights granted by the American Convention and other international human rights treaties because of the color of their skin.

Fri, 10/24/2014

I want to share my joy at the decision made by the Inter-American Court on Human Rights in the case of Expelled Dominican and Haitian Persons vs. the Dominican Republic.
 
The Court clarified several issues of great importance to the country and the continent: the scope of the right to nationality, the guarantee of equality and non-discrimination, the rights of persons born in the country and those who hold an irregular immigration status, among others.
 
As a result of over a decade of international litigation, it was possible to establish that the individuals we represented-17 out of 23 were Dominican, many of them children- were expelled from their own country in violation of the rights granted by the American Convention and other international human rights treaties because of the color of their skin.
 
The Inter-American Court examined in detail the practice, jurisprudence and legislation on migration, and reaffirmed what was mandated in the case of Yean and Bosico: the rules cannot be applied or interpreted as a way of limiting the right to citizenship of persons born in the country depending on the immigration status of their parents. More specifically, the Inter- American Court questioned the reasoning of the Constitutional Court (TC / 0168/13) in its decision on the matter, for its discriminatory effects and the possibility of making nearly two hundred thousand people stateless. Additionally, the Court stated that parts of the law that tries to solve the crisis of rights generated by the Constitutional Court should be rescinded, to the extent that it treats thousands of people as foreigners even if they were born in the Dominican Republic. The Court is clear in determining that the plaintiffs born in the country must have Dominican citizenship.
 
The Court has issued decisions on many countries and different situations. Decisions that are binding as established in the American Convention.
 
Several constitutional courts and supreme courts in the continent have changed their jurisprudence pursuant this jurisprudential dialogue and, sometimes, the control exercised by the Inter-American Court. In Argentina, Peru, Chile, Colombia, Mexico - among others -, there have been important steps in this direction. Moreover, countries such as Chile and Mexico have amended their own constitutions as a result of freedom of expression cases and serious violations of human rights.
 
Dominican Republic agreed to comply with the obligations established by the treaty in 1978, accepted the compulsory jurisdiction of the Court in 1999 and for 15 years has appeared before the Court and has in various ways expressed its interest in strengthening the protection international rights.
 
Therefore, our expectation and hope centers on the fact that the different branches of the government, starting with the highest authorities, will respond to the Court's decision with serenity and the democratic commitment to ensure human rights, fully complying with the sentence. We expect from Dominican Republic what we expect from the rest of the region. Neither more nor less. For those interested in the subject, I urge you to read the decision and support this work for dignity from various perspectives.
 
The decision expresses the vocation of the highest Court of Justice of the region as rights defender. It is not an accusation against the country or an affront to its sovereignty, but an exercise of safeguarding rights internationally. Despite the decision to reject the ruling announced yesterday by government authorities, we hope we can sit down soon with them to initiate a new phase of dialogue.
 
This is one of the moments where we remember, with longing and satisfaction, our friend and colleague, Sonia Pierre, who led in her life many of the debates and struggles against discrimination of Dominican-Haitians.

Position Paper No. 6 - Proposals to Improve the Inter-American System of Human Rights: CEJIL's response to the proposal of the OAS Permanent Council

Through this document, presented before the Permanent Council of the Organization of American States, CEJIL makes public its observations and proposals, produced within the framework of the process of reflection on the Inter-American System of Human Rights, with the sole objective of genuinely strengthening the system and thereby contributing to the effective protection and promotion of human rights in the Americas.


Type of publication:Position paper
Full version available in:
Year: 2012
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Summaries of Jurisprudence: Gender-based Violence. 2nd Edition Updated

CEJIL presents a new title to its collection of Summaries of Jurisprudence, this time dedicated to Gender Violence.

This publication includes a selection of texts of decisions from international human rights organs related to the protection of women victims of violence. The compilation provides a solid body of jurisprudence that allows one to obtain a broad panorama of the reality of women in a variety of contexts, revealing the indisputable relevance of gender violence in the world, even further than the advances in regulation material.

We hope that this will be a useful tool that contributes to the defense of human rights and the eradication of one of the most tolerated and silenced human rights violations as such is the violence exercised against women.


Type of publication:Compilation of jurisprudence
Full version available in:
Year: 2011
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Summaries of Jurisprudence: Health and Reproductive Rights

CEJIL is delighted to present a new book to its collection of Tools for the Protection of Human Rights: Summaries of Jurisprudence, this time dedicated to Health and Reproductive Rights.

The human rights protection bodies recognize the access to medical care, including reproductive health, as a basic right. Nonetheless, the decisions included in this volume illustrate some of the grave deficiencies in the effective enjoyment of these rights, directly affecting women’s right to choose regarding maternity, accessing health information, or to be respected in their autonomy and privacy, among others.

These pages compile decisions and judgments that constitute more relevant jurisprudence in relation to health and reproductive rights. We hope that this book will be a useful tool that contributes to the defense of those rights.


Type of publication:Compilation of jurisprudence
Full version available in:
Year: 2012
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Human rights in the Inter-American System. Compilation of instruments. 2011 Edition.


Type of publication:Compilation of law
Full version available in:
Year: 2011
Partial download options in:

Spanish


English

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Human rights in the Inter-American system. Compilation of instruments. 2009 edition.

Los Derechos Humanos en el Sistema Interamericano. Compilación de Instrumentos.

El Centro por la Justicia y el Derecho Internacional (CEJIL) se complace en presentar la sexta edición actualizada de su publicación Derechos Humanos en el Sistema Interamericano: Compilación de Instrumentos.

Desde la primera versión de este compendio de normativa interamericana sobre protección y defensa de los derechos humanos –editada en 1997- CEJIL se ha propuesto con esta compilación tornar más accesible a distintos públicos el conocimiento del derecho internacional de los derechos humanos desarrollado en el continente americano, así como el uso de las herramientas que el sistema interamericano (SI) pone a disposición de víctimas y defensores de derechos humanos.

La obra recopila las Declaraciones, Tratados, Protocolos y Principios que conforman la normativa fundamental del derecho internacional de los derechos humanos en el ámbito interamericano, complementándola con aquellos textos que reglamentan la composición y funcionamiento de la Comisión y Corte Interamericana (Estatutos y Reglamentos).

Esta sexta edición actualizada incluye las últimas modificaciones a los Reglamentos de la Comisión y la Corte introducidas en 2009, que afectan a aspectos centrales del Sistema como son las reglas aplicables a la fase de admisibilidad de peticiones, las medidas cautelares de protección, el papel de las víctimas en el litigio ante la Corte Interamericana, o cuestiones de representación legal, entre otras.

Adicionalmente, en esta nueva edición presentamos un cuadro que cumple con la intención de ofrecer de forma ilustrativa un panorama completo acerca del estado de ratificaciones de los instrumentos del sistema interamericano de derechos humanos. A su vez, la forma en que se expone la información permite tener una mirada abarcadora e integral acerca del grado de involucramiento de los Estados miembros de la OEA en el SI.


Type of publication:Compilation of law
Full version available in:
Year: 2009
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Inter-American Court Declares Peru Responsible for an Extrajudicial Execution in Chavín de Huántar case

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (Inter-American Court) declared Peru responsible for the extrajudicial execution of a member of the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA), as a result of the military operation Chavín de Huántar in 1997, and determined the  State did not conduct a thorough investigation of the incident.

The Inter-American Court published the verdict yesterday which established Peru’s international responsibility for the death of Eduardo Nicolás Cruz Sánchez alias “Tito”, which occurred once he had surrendered—making him a person protected under international law.

Tue, 06/30/2015

Washington, D.C. and Lima June 30, 2015.- The Inter-American Court of Human Rights (Inter-American Court) declared Peru responsible for the extrajudicial execution of a member of the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA), as a result of the military operation Chavín de Huántar in 1997, and determined the  State did not conduct a thorough investigation of the incident.

The Inter-American Court published the verdict yesterday which established Peru’s international responsibility for the death of Eduardo Nicolás Cruz Sánchez alias “Tito”, which occurred once he had surrendered—making him a person protected under international law.

“The State had the right to use force in order to free the hostages in the context of armed conflict such as the one Peru endured,” pointed out Viviana Krsticevic, Executive Director of the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), “However, as the Inter-American Court affirmed in its ruling, the state should respect the right to life and personal integrity of all individuals who do not participate or remain outside of combat.”

The Inter-American Court’s ruling coincides with decisions issued by Peru’s internal courts—first in October of 2012 and then in July of 201—that established the existence of an extrajudicial execution in the case of Eduardo Nicolás Cruz Sánchez and obligated the State to undertake an investigation in order to identify the perpetrators of this crime.

Although the international tribunal found that there was insufficient evidence to determine the State’s responsibility for the deaths of Herma Luz Meléndez Cueva and Víctor Salomón Peceros Pedraza, the Court determined Peru’s responsibility in violating the judicial guarantee through a lack of enforcing a thorough investigation and, at some point, using military jurisdiction to try this case.

“It is satisfactory for us that the Court has reiterated its jurisprudence with respect to the inadequacy of military jurisdiction to oversee the investigation into the circumstances surrounding an incident that could be constituted as a human rights violation” said Gloria Cano, Executive Director of APRODEH. “For many years, we have insisted on this focal point as one of the primary reason for which we submitted the case to the Inter-American System”.

In its decision, the Inter-American Court orders Peru to carry out a serious and effective investigation in order to identify, prosecute, and in this case, sanction those responsible for the extrajudicial execution of Eduardo Nicolás Cruz Sánchez. The Court also requested specialized health and psychological treatment for the victim’s brother. As it had been requested by the family of the victim, the Court did not order economic reparations.

CEJIL litigated this case in conjunction with the Asociación Pro Derechos Humanos (APRODEH) of Peru.

CEJIL and partner organizations to present at IACHR on the impact of the construction of the Interoceanic canal in Nicaragua and the situation of forced disappearances and impunity in Mexico.

CEJIL, in partnership with allied organizations, will present eight thematic hearings during the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights’ (IACHR) 154th period of regular sessions.

The hearings will be held from Monday, March 16th to Friday, March 19th and will take place in the GSB building of the Organization of American States in Washington D.C.

Wed, 03/11/2015

The Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), in partnership with allied organizations, will present eight thematic hearings during the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights’ (IACHR) 154th period of regular sessions.

 

The hearings will be held from Monday, March 16th to Friday, March 19th and will take place in the GSB building of the Organization of American States in Washington D.C.

 

The following are summaries of some of our main hearings:

Construction of the Interoceanic Canal and its Impact on Human Rights in Nicaragua
When: Monday, March 16th 2015
4:30 to 5:30 p.m.
Where: Padilha Vidal Room, Level TL, GSB Building
Organization of American States, 1889 F St., Washington, D.C. 20006

Between 30,000 and 100,000 people will be directly affected through forcible expulsions and land expropriations impacting villages and job sites along the route of a land concession granted to the Honk-Kong-based HKND company by the government of Nicaragua for the construction of the Interoceanic Canal. More information.

Case 12.797-Linda Loaiza López Soto et. al, Venezuela
When:
Tuesday, March 17th 2015
2:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Where: Padilha Vidal Room, Level TL, GSB Building
Organization of American States, 1889 F St., Washington, D.C. 20006

In 2001, Linda Loaiza was deprived of liberty to severe sexual violence over the course of several months by an individual, causing her serious physical and psychological harm. Linda Loaiza—who has denounced the abuses she suffered for over 13 years—will be present to give her testimony. More information.

Human Rights Situation of Persons Deprived of Liberty in El Salvador

When: Thursday, March 19th
3:15 to 4:15 p.m.
Where: Rubén Darío Room, 8th Floor
Organization of American States, 1889 F St., Washington, D.C. 20006

Despite the advances that El Salvador has achieved regarding the prison system in recent years, the numbers of overcrowding and overpopulation of the Salvadoran prison system currently stand at an average of 320%. Petitioners will explain in detail the human rights challenges regarding persons deprived of their liberty in El Salvador. More information.

General Human Rights Situation in the State of Guerrero, Mexico
When:
Friday, March 20th 2015
10:15 to 11:15 p.m.

Where: Padilha Vidal Room, Level TL, GSB Building
Organization of American States, 1889 F St., Washington, D.C. 20006

The hearing will present an opportunity to talk about the work, findings, and recommendations of the COMVERDAD—created to investigate the human rights violations that took place between 1969 and 1979 in the State of Guerrero— and how they relate to the State’s current human rights situation. More information.

Reports of Acts of Forced Disappearance and Impunity in Mexico
When:
Friday, March 20th 2015
11:30 to 12:30 p.m.

Where: Padilha Vidal Room, Level TL, GSB Building
Organization of American States, 1889 F St., Washington, D.C. 20006

The forced disappearance of 43 students from Ayotzinapa, Guerrero in September of 2014 prompted national and international demands for truth and justice and became an example of the current human rights situation in Mexico. The objective of this hearing is to provide analysis and recommendations that will help the IACHR identify the required measures to address the country’s current situation. More information.

See CEJIL’s full calendar:

Hearing

Date

Time

More Information

Construction of the Interoceanic Canal and its Impact on Human Rights in Nicaragua

Monday, March 16th

4:30  to 5:30 p.m.

Link to fact sheet

Situation of the Right to Freedom of Association and Assembly in Peru

Tuesday, March 17th

10:15  to11:15 a.m.

Link to fact sheet (sp)

Case 12.797-Linda Loaiza López Soto et. Al, Venezuela

Tuesday, March 17th

2:00 to 3:00 p.m.

Link to fact sheet

The Right to Truth, Justice, and Reparations for the Human Rights Violations of Military Dictatorships in Bolivia

Thursday, March 19th

11:30  to 12:30 p.m.

Link to fact sheet (sp)

Reports of Trafficking of Women and Children in Guatemala

Thursday, March 19th

4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

Link to fact sheet (sp)

Human Rights Situation of Persons Deprived of Liberty in El Salvador

Thursday, March 19th

3:15 to 4:15 p.m.

Link to fact sheet

General Human Rights Situation in the State of Guerrero, Mexico

Friday, March 20th

10:15 to 11:15 a.m.

Link to fact sheet

 

Reports of Acts of Forced Disappearance and Impunity in Mexico

 

Friday,  March 20th

11:30 to 12:30 p.m.

Link to fact sheet

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In anticipation of International Women´s Day, a brief reflection by CEJIL

On International Women’s Day, the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) would like to acknowledge the contributions of women to the field of human rights and reaffirm its commitment to continue its work of ensuring that all women can live in a hemisphere free of human rights violations, like gender-based violence and discrimination.

 

Fri, 03/06/2015

 

On International Women’s Day, the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL) would like to acknowledge the contributions of women to the field of human rights and reaffirm its commitment to continue its work of ensuring that all women can live in a hemisphere free of human rights violations, like gender-based violence and discrimination.

A world that is just and equitable for women is a better world. At a regional level, much has advanced in the defense of women’s rights in Latin America and the Caribbean. Two decades ago, the Inter-American Convention on the Prevention, Punishment, and Eradication of Violence against Women entered into full force. Also known as the Convention of Belém do Pará, this landmark document recognized the right of women to be free from violence and discrimination and has been ratified by 32 of the 35 states of the Organization of American States.

Yet, despite its widespread support and the preamble’s acknowledgment that gender-based violence is a “manifestation of the historically unequal power relations between women and men,” women continue to experience systematic violations of human rights.

Throughout the hemisphere, violence against women remains a serious problem. According to a recent 12-country study by the Pan American Health Organization, regions like Central America have the highest rates of gender-based violence.

At institutional levels, discrimination remains entrenched. Women are alarmingly underrepresented across decision-making positions that determine important human rights rulings and outcomes. One need only to look within the Inter-American System, and discover that currently, no women serve on the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

As an organization that protects and promotes human rights in the Americas through the effective use of international human rights law, CEJIL has represented numerous women who have been victims of human rights violations before the Inter-American System. Among them is the case of María da Penha Fernandes in which the Belem do Pará Convention was applied for the first time within the Inter-American system in order to call on the Brazilian government to adopt measures that guarantee the effective punishment, prevention and eradication of violence against women.

María da Penha was shot by her husband and left paraplegic. With CEJIL and CLADEM’s support, her tireless search for justice led to the creation of the Maria da Penha law —a landmark piece of legislation which intends to prevent the evasion penal sanctions for acts of domestic violence against women, promote rehabilitation programs for the aggressors, and create specialized courts for victims.

Bearing this in mind, it is vital for society to understand that violence is against women is a violation of human rights, and so too is discrimination against women. In order to address these phenomena, we must tackle the root causes of aggression that contribute to these human rights violations The fight against violence and discrimination is an everyday struggle that reminds us about this important date in which we celebrate the energy, capacity and diversity of women who defend human rights and women’s rights.

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