El Presidente de la Corte IDH, Diego García-Sayán, publicó el artículo The Inter-American Court and Constitutionalism in Latin America, en el último número de la Revista Texas Law Review (Vol. 89:1835). Esta es la introducción del artículo:
“More than forty years have elapsed since the adoption of the American Convention on Human Rights, which, among other advances, resulted in the establishment of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, installed in 1979. As is common in history, there have been high and low points, yet the progress the Inter-American Court has made in developing consistent human rights standards with increasing impact and usefulness is worth mentioning.
The development of international human rights law has been one of the most important legal advances of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries to date. Major international instruments and mechanisms of protection have been brought into operation at global and regional levels. Latin America has played a significant role in this evolution.
Indeed, within the Latin American forum, extremely important human rights standards have developed. Some believe that it was in Latin America, at the beginning of the sixteenth century, that the concept of what is today known as "human rights" was born when Bartolomé de Las Casas declared that all human beings are equal. Latin America again played a relevant role when the two declarations on human rights, the American and the Universal, were drafted and approved more than sixty years ago.
Nevertheless, the extraordinary development of international principles, norms, decisions, and organs of protection has not been reflected in a consistent manner on the domestic front. That is why some people consider that although the universalization of human rights referred to by Norberto Bobbio has been a significant development in the consolidation of the protection of human rights, the challenge today is, essentially, the application of international commitments. In this regard, the Inter-American Court's jurisprudence plays a relevant role as a bridge of communication.
The court has been developing and fine-tuning its jurisprudence, and it is currently being manifested dynamically, particularly in the actions taken by domestic courts. Today, the binding nature of the court's judgments is not up for discussion, and for the most part, states comply with its judgments. However, the most important factor is that domestic courts are increasingly adopting the court's jurisprudential criteria—the international forum is today inspiring the jurisdictional reasoning of the most relevant courts of Latin America. In this way, the court's jurisprudence is multiplied in hundreds or perhaps thousands of domestic courts in cases that it would never have been able to hear directly.
The mechanisms of the Inter-American system are establishing guidelines and standards on very diverse issues. Nevertheless, the states are supposed to be the actors performing the leading role. Within the state, the judges are supposed to be the first guarantee of human rights, but at times they have been so merely in a formal sense. By accepting international standards and substantive criteria that place the rights of the individual at the forefront, domestic judicial systems are legitimizing and revitalizing their role and, thereby, that of the rule of law as a core value.”