Facing new challenges at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights: The procedural delay as a substantive —and not only procedural— problem.

One of the main challenges confronted by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights today is the problem of procedural delay. In effect, the Commission has received such numerous applications over the last years, that the capacity of the system has become overwhelmed. The Commission has adopted several measures to resolve this problem since 2016. Most commonly, experts and practitioners refer the lack of human and financial resources as the main factor that explains this delay. This paper will present a different perspective. This work will claim that the problem of procedural delay is mainly related to this set of circumstances: (a) the growing tendency of the Commission to expand its area of work, and (b) the misreading of the admissibility requirements contained in Articles 46 and 47 of the American Convention on Human Rights. This paper will conclude that an institutional change of perspective will assist the Commission to move forward in these matters.


The International Human Rights Law has sponsored a hermeneutic canon by virtue of which human rights treaties must merit special treatment in so far as they are presented as living instruments, whose exegesis has to accompany the evolution of the times and the conditions of current life. Such characterization in the Inter-American jurisprudence, raises attractive problems: ¿does the principle of evolutionary interpretation imply an authorization for the judges to set their imagination in motion and alter the guidelines of the Convention´s text, without going through the formal normative instances?, ¿instead, would not imply an empowerment to develop the legal decisions of the system in order to maintain its ability to respond to situations that the authors of the instrument did not have in view, but which involve issues essentially equal to those considered in that regulation, and require specific solutions, extracted from the values, principles and norms in force?

Ruling Through Advice: The Use of Advisory Jurisdiction in International Human Rights Law

Under the understanding that the Inter-American Court of Human Rights exerts a jurisdiction that articulates a common law of fundamental rights, the Court has recently turned to the use of its advisory jurisdiction to expand its reach. Through advisory opinions, the Court aims at binding not only those states that have ratified the regional covenant, but also those who have not ratified it, but are members of the regional political organization of states (the OAS), that is, countries such as Canada and the United States.
My paper explores how a regional human rights court’s use of its expansive advisory jurisdiction takes place in the context of the two universalist narratives at stake: one that claims the existence of a common, universal, law; and the other one that pushes for a universal ratification of legally binding treaties.

Mexican National Guard: Conventionality and public aims

We analyze the constitutional creation of the National Guard (NG) in Mexico. We study the constitutional amendment from a inter- American Human Rights perspective, because the NG would be integrated by military and naval police with a civilian as commander and we consider it is against the Interamerican Human Rights System . The fact that public security tasks would be under the scope of a military body may not only imply a threat to the constitutional State but also a risk for the population.
In Montero Aranguren et al. V. Venezuela and in Cabrera García and Montiel Flores v. Mexico the Interamerican Court of Human Rights (ICHR) ruled that armed forces employment for security tasks should be limited to the maximum and respond to criteria of strict exceptionality to face situations of criminality or internal violence, given that the training received by the military forces is aimed at defeating the enemy and not at the protection and control of civilians.”

Evolution at the Interamerican Court of Human Rights: Right to health.

The judicial agenda of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has dramatically widened in the last few years. New social concerns now dominate its evolving case-law. Particularly, right to health cases have been relevant since 2015 onwards. Protection from disease began to appear as a key component of a new human rights narrative. This brand new line of cases poses significant issues regarding important policy areas such as social welfare and the role of the state in society.