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Inter-American Court of Human Rights

Toby Mendel

Subject Law
Communication and Media Studies » Communication Studies
Media System » Communication Law and Policy

Key-Topics rights

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


The Inter-American Court of Human Rights, established by the →  American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR), is the leading regional human rights court in the Americas. The Court consists of seven judges, elected by secret ballot by member states of the Organization of American States (OAS). Cases may be referred to the Court only by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights or a member state and only where the state in question has voluntarily submitted itself to the Court's jurisdiction. Cases may be contentious individual or group complaints of a violation of a right, complaints by a state that another state has violated a right, or a request by a state for an interpretation by the Court of the ACHR, outside of the context of a contentious dispute (known as advisory opinions ). Most contentious individual cases are referred to the Court by the Commission, which may do so only after it has itself received and processed an individual or group complaint and the state in question has not taken the necessary steps to remedy the violation. Where it finds a violation, the Court may order such measures as are necessary to restore respect for human rights, and may also order compensation to be paid to the victim. The decisions of the Court are legally binding and, under the ACHR, states formally undertake to comply with them, although there is little the Court can do if states refuse ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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