Fundamental Right to Cultural Identity of Indigenous Peoples: Challenges for a Euro-American Dialogue on Human Rights

We propose a dialogue between the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), based on the idea of “ius commune universal”: a shared and inalienable nucleus of human rights, that shall be turned into concrete practice by the jurisprudence of these courts. The proposed dialogue will focus on the right to cultural identity of indigenous peoples. We demonstrate that the IACHR recognized this right as a collective right, which must be respected in a multicultural and democratic society. We also show that the ECHR recognizes the “cultural rights” of minorities, but with a weaker scope and a wide margin of national appreciation. Based on the jurisprudence of both courts, we propose a move towards a “Euro-American fundamental rights” system, including the fundamental right to cultural identity.