16 May 2024

La Oroya and Inter-American Innovations on the Right to a Healthy Environment

In La Oroya v. Peru, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights declared Peru responsible for violating several rights, including the right to a healthy environment, due to the environmental degradation and health crises in La Oroya—one of the world’s most polluted cities. Regarding the right to a healthy environment, the Court addresses for the first time pollution in air, water, and soil—marking a departure from previous cases that primarily focused on communal property rights and deforestation—and even goes as far as to refer to the right to a healthy environment as jus cogens. Such innovations would have not been possible without the ever-expanding horizon of Inter-American case law and approaches.

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08 February 2024
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Nachhaltig nicht-nachhaltig

Im Rahmen der Energiewende wächst der europäische Bedarf nach Rohstoffen. Zahlreiche der für die Energiewende benötigten Rohstoffe befinden sich auf den Gebieten indigener Völker, was häufig zu Konflikten führt. Vor diesem Hintergrund ist es erstaunlich, dass das geplante Abkommen zwischen der EU und den Mercosur-Staaten keine Vorschriften bezüglich Beteiligung und Schutz indigener Völker beinhaltet. Ein Verweis auf solche Vorschriften, insbesondere aus der ILO-Konvention 169, wäre völkerrechtlich geboten und trüge dazu bei, die Konflikte und Widersprüche des Nachhaltigkeitsbegriffs aushandelbar zu machen.

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10 March 2023

Warming Up

In January 2023, Chile and Colombia submitted their joint request for an advisory opinion on the climate emergency and human rights, thereby paving the way for the first groundbreaking decision on the issue of climate change by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) and the first advisory opinion in this regard by a regional human rights monitoring body. The Court will have the unique opportunity to cover a broad variety of areas and questions that align under the umbrella term of climate change and human rights and therefore to deal with the issue in an integral manner.

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06 January 2023
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#DefendingTheDefenders – Episode 5: Colombia

The fifth episode of #DefendingTheDefenders, the rule of law podcast by Deutscher Anwaltverein and Verfassungsblog, focuses on Colombia, where the situation for attorneys and human rights defenders is particularly dangerous.

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06 October 2021
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Towards Institutional Guarantees for Democratic Rotation

In a recent Advisory Opinion the Inter-American Court of Human Rights established that indefinite presidential re-elections constitute a violation of Inter-American human rights standards. In doing so it sets substantive limits to states regarding the design of their political and electoral systems. This is a far reaching and bold move.

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22 October 2020

Is there a Human Right to Indefinitely Run for Reelection?

In the next few months, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (I/A Court) shall issue an advisory opinion in order to clarify whether presidential reelection is a right arising from the American Convention on Human Rights and, if so, whether it can be restricted. This article addresses one of the aspects which will probably be elaborated upon in said opinion, that is to say the inadequate use of the conventionality control with a view to modifying, by means of a judicial decision, constitutional provisions whose scope should only be scrutinized by mechanisms of constitutional creation or reform under the rule of law.

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15 September 2020

The Crisis of the Organization of American States That is Rocking the Commission on Human Rights

In the last few weeks, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Organization of American States' General Secretariat have been involved in a rather undiplomatic public confrontation. The core of the dispute is the renewal of the mandate of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights Executive Secretary, who is the employee in charge of leading the technical staff which supports the work of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. At first glance, said determination might seem like a minor issue, but in reality, it could translate into important repercussions for the protection of human rights in the Americas. Furthermore, this standoff sheds light into some chronic problems within the Organization and could be used as an opportunity for its strengthening.

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25 April 2020
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COVID-19 and the Need for a Holistic and Integral Approach to Human Rights Protection

While the pandemic is global, the challenges the individual regions are currently facing in their combat against COVID-19 are different and specific. In Latin America, the combat is embedded in a context of deep social and economic inequality, systematic violence and poverty. As the crisis is likely to exacerbate these structural inequalities it is clear that its implications must be examined in the light of human rights and in the light of intersectionality.

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