Settling Human Rights Violations

My paper explores the role of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights as a human rights arbitrator through the use of friendly settlements. I discuss whether friendly settlement mechanisms provide better avenues for implementation of international legal standards. By forcing States to internalize the agreement they reach with petitioners, this mechanism creates a different power relation among participants. The victim, whose rights are negated at the domestic level, finds herself in front of the State with the chance to voice her grievances and, ultimately, press for legal and political changes. Legal scholars have little attention to the normative and practical challenges that settling human rights violations poses: when States settle, should domestic decision-makers have a say on that decision or is it only up to the Executive to commit, for instance, to promote legislation change? What is the position of other States not involved in the procedure?