Ius Constitutionale Commune en América Latina suggests that the transformative impact of law in Latin America is highlighted in the potential of national constitutions and the Inter-American system to jointly address structural deficiencies through the protection of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. This presentation will argue that such a transformative effect is achieved through three complementary processes: open statehood, “inter-Americanization”, and an Inter-American democratic test with definite red lines. The question is to explore, by looking ahead, the potential of novel re-readings and what are the challenges in guaranteeing the “never again” (nunca más)?
The normative vision of the Colombian Constitution, enacted in 1991, was transformative. Aside from the emphasis on socio-economic rights, which focused attention on the need to greatly reduce poverty in the country, the Constitution included a vision of equality that stressed the need for material as well as formal equality. This presentation deduces the main lessons that can be learned from the Colombian constituent process.
The Chilean plebiscite of October 25, 2020 marked the beginning of the constitutional itinerary for the elaboration of a new Constitution in Chile. This unprecedented process enables that a Constitution will be deliberated in democracy, in a parity way, with indigenous peoples, and a mixture of political parties and independents. This presentation will analyze how the development of the constitutional agreements and their democratic legitimacy can be encompassed by Inter-American standards and, on the other hand, how the transformative changes of the constitution can reinforce the ius constitutionale commune. It is argued that a transformative potential lies in the dimensions of integrity, parity, transparency, and civic participation.
The Inter-American Commission of Human Rights provides a comprehensive approach to the obligation of States to bring their domestic legislation in line with Inter-American Human Rights Standards. Such approach both highlights the relevance of inter-American standards but also challenges ahead: Those comprise the need to reinforce the democratic institutional framework of the States, as well as the need to strengthen the capacities to implement public policies. This presentation will outline what has already been achieved and what needs to be accomplished in the future to reinforce the transformative potential of human rights and national constitutions.