Separate Opinions in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights: Institutional and Individual Performances

The research is focused on the adjudicatory nature of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and its model of deliberation. In principle, identifying a large amount of individual opinions and their argumentative use could intuitively support the conclusion that the Inter-American Court’s decision-making process is institutionally outlined by aggregating the content of separate opinions. In order to confirm or refute this perception, the importance of individual opinions is analyzed through the quantitative performance of each category of judge (ad hoc and regular), as well as each type of adjudicative activity (judgments and advisory opinions). The quantitative data is also useful to better understand the explicit assimilation of separate opinions to the core reasoning of future cases. As a result, it has been possible to identify relevant aspects applicable to the main problem of whether individual opinions really matter to the Inter-American Court’s decision-making process.