Mexico’s and Argentina’s educational system: The case of unitary federalism

Although Mexico and Argentina are federal countries, their educational systems seem to have the structure of a unitary republic. This paper explores the separate but similar evolution of events in Mexico and Argentina leading to these countries’ current educational systems. How did educational theories proposing a uniform approach to education gain popularity? What role did the Catholic Church and other faith based organizations have in the the current scope of educational rights in these countries? What role have constitutional amendments had and what debates have informed their content? Have local jurisdictions adopted acts similar to constitutional provisions? How has the power of federal entities affected local educational autonomy? The paper examines constitutional history, constitutional recognition of educational rights, administrative regulation and the distribution of competences among different administrative entities and agencies, and the local laws of provinces or states.

(Il)legitimate elections: A case study of a constitutional framework allowing electoral processes to undermine stable democracies

Elections can be a necessary legitimizing process in every democracy. Elections can also be the best evidence of a broken system, in which elections are a tool for a regime in power to strengthen their grip and maintain more control.
The control of Venezuela’s “Electoral Power” and its National Electoral Council has recently been in the hands of a ruling party which has progressively created a legal and functional framework allowing for advantageous and non-transparent electoral processes. This has allowed problematic practices to determine the way electoral campaigns develop in Venezuela. The system has organized and certified questionable electoral processes exacerbating the political crisis and further undermining the rule of law. The paper addresses the use of democratic institutions to subvert democracy. How can Venezuelans and the wider international community combat such democratic backsliding? What standards of election quality and reforms can guarantee transparent elections?

Pandemic governance and enforcement mechanisms in the context of international human rights law: The case of the procedure for monitoring compliance with decisions at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

The Covid-19 pandemic has put into question important tenets of constitutional democracies. Separation of powers has taken a secondary role in Latin American states legislating within emergency powers. At the regional level, courts and tribunals, have balanced rights of the individual against ensuring the right to health and well-being of the majorities. Velez Loor v. Panama at the IACtHR presents a novel lens to examine courts’ continuing interest in balancing rights and enforcing its judgments in the context of the pandemic. The Court made use of its powers for monitoring compliance with its earlier decisions in the case to ensure Panamanian detention centres met sanitary standards that helped combat the Covid-19 pandemic. What effect should this judgment have on our faith in monitoring compliance with decisions at the Court? Can such enforcements of decisions lead to novel responses to public law issues in the pandemic? The paper uses Velez Loor v Panama to explore these questions.

Addressing the problem of enforced disappearances in the context of migration

Rigid migration policies of States cause a particular risk to migrants, enabling enforced disappearances. Although States have a sovereign prerogative to manage their borders and regulate migration, their national migration policies must be in full compliance with their international human rights and humanitarian law obligations to respect and protect all persons within their jurisdiction, irrespective of the migration status of the individuals. As contexts and environments of enforced disappearances evolve, this evolution requires continuous adjustment of the approach taken by International Human Rights monitoring bodies. How much trust and faith should we put in monitoring bodies, especially in the face of state actions to undermine monitoring or even facilitate forced disappearances? This paper examines strategies developed by both the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances and the Committee for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearances.