·Sur Journal – Abstract

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The Effectiveness of the Inter-American System of Human Rights Protection: A Quantitative Approach to its Functioning and Compliance With its Decisions

This article addresses one of the central concerns in current discussions surrounding the functioning of the Inter-American System of Human Rights Protection (IASPHR): its effectiveness. Several questions necessary for a richer debate regarding the strengthening of the IASPHR lack definite answers and have still not been analyzed in as much detail as possible. To illuminate some points of the problems involved, the present article details the results of a quantitative research project focused on the degree of compliance with decisions adopted within the framework of the system of petitions of the American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR). The information presented here is the result of a survey of all of the measures adopted in all of the final decisions of the IACHR and the Inter-American Court, within the framework of the individual petition-based system of the ACHR, during a period — either recommendations or friendly settlements approved by the IACHR or holdings of the Inter-American Court—, and observes, among other aspects, the degree of compliance that the said remedies have received as of the present date. The results of this investigation may serve as a foundation for detecting useful trends for the discussion on possible reforms for optimizing the functioning of the IASPHR and in order to make strategic use of litigation before its protection bodies.

Original in Spanish. Translated by Kayley Bebber.

Submitted in February 2010. Accepted in July 2010.