lunes, 12 de septiembre de 2011

Edición especial de Quebec Journal of International Law

La Revista Quebec Journal of International Law publicó una edición especial destinada al Sistema Interamericano. A continuación detallo los artículos que conforman esta obra y sus respectivos resúmenes:

“The years 2008 and 2009 having marked important anniversaries for the Inter-American Human Rights System, among them the 60th anniversary of the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man, it seemed a particularly appropriate moment to reflect on the evolution of the system, its successes and failures. In proposing this special edition of the Quebec Journal of International Law, the editors seek to offer a critical assessment of the human rights regime in the Americas with the help of contributions by expert scholars. Papers included in the special issue are centered around three main themes: the evolution of the human rights regime and its singularities, the impact of the regime, both inside and outside the region, and the challenges that the regime is now facing.”

“Given the asymmetrical nature of international relations in the western hemisphere throughout the history of the OAS, we postulate that the dynamic of those relations explains major developments within the Inter-American human rights system, whereas the reverse is not the case. In other words, the system, its norms and constraints, have influenced little the direction of relations amongst states in the Americas. An historical overview reveals however that the system has consistently shown itself able to exploit “windows of opportunity” to push back the frontiers of its institutional limits, but this ability to impose more stringent human rights norms is never entirely unquestioned and remains highly contested by the member states. The article uses a periodisation of relations in the hemisphere on the one hand, and those within the Inter-American system, on the other. It then analyses the periods that show strong correlation between international relations and innovations within the system in order to identify trends and perspectives for the future. It concludes with three possible scenarios for the immediate future of the system, based on emerging trends in international relations.”

This article explores the role played by international human rights regimes in the transnational and domestic politics of human rights of Mexico. Following international relations constructivists and liberal republican approaches, this article argues that international human rights regimes have played a key role in Mexico in the following ways: a) they have provided the normative standards, information about behavior, and necessary forums for processes of shaming and argumentation; b) regimes’ organs, bodies and mechanisms have been important actors in their own right in the aforementioned processes; c) regimes have been instrumental in the strategies of government elites seeking to secure their preferences in domestic politics. This article ends by offering a framework that might prove useful for understanding the role of international human rights regimes in other country-specific situations and by reflecting on the theoretical implications of its main argument.”

“The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has developed an original, creative, avant-garde and even ‘legally non-conformist’ jurisprudence. The Court takes certain liberties with regard to the way in which it interprets the American Convention, treating the State-centric paradigm and voluntarism with disdain and consequently risks displeasing member States and internationalist scholars. However, the Court adopts this attitude intentionally and asserts the Inter-American distinctiveness through its own construction of legal universalism. In order to analyse it, the paper will describe the Court's work through the prism of a number of problems, emphasizing the most salient characteristics of this ‘Inter-American doctrine’: individualization; criminilization; constitutionalization; humanization; and moralization of inter-American law”.

“This article examines the ways in which Inter-American human rights law has been received and employed outside its own sphere. The Inter-American Court and Commission engage self-consciously in dialogue and borrowing from the global human rights system and the other regional human rights tribunals. Tracing the reciprocal influence of Inter-American developments is a complicated undertaking, because official texts may either understate or overstate the degree to which their authors have relied upon external sources. Examination of the jurisprudence of other human rights tribunals produces mixed results that require interpretation. The African and European regional tribunals have openly engaged with Inter-American precedents on procedure and substance from both the Court and the Commission, although less extensively than the Inter-American Court’s methodology leads it to draw from Europe. The International Court of Justice and the UN Human Rights Committee have generally avoided open reference to regional precedent in their institutional opinions, while arguably some tacit influences can be traced. Some express discussion of Inter-American precedent does occasionally appear in concurring or dissenting opinions. The Inter-American Court has had less success, however, in exporting its views on jus cogens.”

This article analyzes the latest reforms of rules and regulations of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the overall functioning of the Inter-American human rights system. Particularly the article focuses on the strengths and weaknesses of the judicialization of the Inter-American amparo. The paper identifies the measures necessary to allow the Inter-American system to play a more prominent role in the promotion and protection of human rights. Specific measures include mainstreaming the work of the OAS around human rights issues, including in the Inter-American Democratic Charter a stronger link between democracy and the protection of human rights, and balancing the work on individual complaints with other tools available to the IACHR. It proposes a fundamental change in the IACHR’s profile through the modification of its participation in the individual petition system. The Commission should only act as an organ of admissibility and facilitator of friendly solutions, and the Court as a tribunal that carries out findings of fact and makes legal determinations on the merits of complaints. The IACHR needs to concentrate more heavily on political and promotional activities that complement its limited participation in the processing of individual cases.”

“This paper is an attempt to partly address the question of the impact, on the inter-American human rights system, of non-state actors interacting within the institutional structure of the Organizations of American States (OAS). It reflects the perspective of Rights & Democracy, a Canadian institution with an international mandate to promote democracy by supporting the full realization of all human rights. Rights & Democracy has supported civil society human rights organizations in their battle for a stronger regional human rights system, and a more participatory OAS. The paper first reviews the formal inter-American structure for civil society participation, then submits what is meant to be an empirical contribution. It describes two concrete civil society participation experiences aiming to strengthen the enforcement of inter-American human rights norms: the ongoing process carried out by the International Coalition of Organizations for Human Rights in the Americas, and the actions undertaken by indigenous peoples within the framework of the negotiations surrounding the Draft American Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. The paper ends with some concluding remarks on a mitigated assessment of civil society participatory mechanisms within the OAS.”

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