Deference and Pluralism in the Latin American Ius Constitutionale Commune: Propositions from Judicial Dialogue

In order to face structural inequalities and exclusion, Latin-American legal pluralism intents to harmonize multidimension human rights norms around a common constitutional project: ICCAL – ius constitutionale commune en América Latina. It aims at unblocking national changes through transformative constitutionalism and conventionality control so there may be a cooperative dialogue between regional and national jurisdictions. However, such judicial dialogue tends to be assertive from the regional court due to a historical lack of cooperation from national Executives, which leaves little space for a deference doctrine abe to preserve legal pluralism instead of blurring it in such uniformity that begs for legitimacy. Through bibliographical and Inter-American caselaw research, this study proposes criteria for a dialogical deference towards national decisions with attention to the powerful purpose of ICCAL of pointing solutions to Latin American most acute challenges on human rights.

How to Engage in a Dialogue? Understanding the Extra-Judicial Communication of the Inter-American Human Rights Institutions

How, why, and to whom are the Inter-American human rights institutions communication? In order for a dialogue to work, communication is essential.
In the traditional view, international judicial institutions communicate through judgements and judges. However, in the last two decades, a transformation of the institutional communication has taken place, which is characterized by professionalized, interactive, and multimodal communication strategies.
This contribution adopts an institutional perspective to understand the development of communication and outreach capacities of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in times of backlash.


The conformation of an international legal order for protection of human rights brings the challenge of a normative, multilevel plurality, delivering conceptual and operational challenges (dialogue between jurisdictions, control of conventionality and extension of recognition of a margin of national appreciation, directly connected to the notion of sovereignty). The limitation of sovereignty, however, isn’t something new, so that the conventionalization process reproduces the phenomenon of constitutionalization of Law verified at the internal level in the consolidation of the Democratic State of Law, related to a progressive linkage to human and fundamental rights, with strong seat in the recognition and strengthening of their objective dimension. This presupposes, in turn, a sum of actions and permanent commitments, where ICCAL plays a central role: theoretical; institutional and social/cultural (incorporation of this perspective by civil society, individuals and legal operators).

Reparatory Measures with a Gender Perspective: Is Dialogue Enough?

Mexico, and all the Latin American countries, owe a significant debt to the Inter-American Court and to women victims of gender violence. The high rates of violence against women in the region and the high number of reparation measures with a gender perspective still pending to be complied with are clear demonstrations of this circumstance.
Despite the important and different initiatives and advances in each State, gender violence against women still constitutes a severe human rights crisis.
Although the jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court has generated significant progress on the issue of gender-based violence, thanks to its transformative vocation –particularly concerning reparations– the current scenario shows that the actions taken by States are still not enough.
This paper wants to analyze the structural and cultural difficulties the states face to comply with these measures and how the dialogue model is not enough, but a different strategy should be proposed.

National margin of appreciation in Latin America? The problem is in the institutional design!

There are several siren calls from critical legal studies that suggest more “deference” or the transplantation of the “national margin of appreciation” as a replacement for the doctrine of conventionality control in Latin America. In my presentation, I will address several formal and substantive issues confronting and engaging with these proposals.
Reading the critics, it is difficult not to think of a supranational Leviathan represented in the Inter-American Court that pretends to take over the sovereignty of the national powers. Using data analysis and specific contextual aspects, I will show that the Inter-American Court is far from being a monster that threatens the national sovereignty of the States Parties of the American Convention. Rather than transplanting a doctrine born in the European context, what is needed is to learn from its practical experience and focus on reviewing the institutional design taking into account the Latin American particularities.