International Law and Reparations: The Inter-American System

International Law and Reparations: The Inter-American System


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This book presents the most thorough analysis to date on the jurisprudence of the Inter-American Human Rights Court (IACtHR) concerning full reparations. This jurisprudence interprets Article 63 of the American Convention on Human Rights. In its interpretation of the Convention, the IACtHR is guided by the important notion that human rights instruments should be interpreted in light of its object and purpose, in accordance with the State members of the Organization of the American States.

The Court's jurisprudence ensures that victims of human rights violations are awarded not only monetary compensation in cases, but also a full array of reparations designed to restore their dignity and reaffirm the value of the rule of law. Accordingly, reparation also includes moral compensation, guarantees of non-repetition, and truth as a measure of satisfaction. The impact of the Inter-American jurisprudence in this matter has gone beyond the regional hemispheric systems. The UN Committee Against Torture relied on the Court's jurisprudence in the drafting of General Comment No. 3, while the other regional human rights systems have resorted to the Inter-American jurisprudence in developing their own concepts of reparation.

More specifically, the book explores the notions of "fair remedy," "injured party," and the possibility of achieving "restitutio in integrum" for human rights violations through an analysis of decisions issued by the Inter-American. The book urges its reader to consider not only the current status of the law, but also the role played by victims, lawyers, Commissioners, and Judges in its jurisprudential development. As a living instrument, the value of the American Convention depends in great part on their actions and decisions.This book, by presenting the role of the different actors through concrete cases that shaped the system, encourages everyone to think how the System should continue to satisfy the aspirations of justice in cases of human rights violations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780997896572
Publisher: Clarity Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 05/01/2018
Pages: 897
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.25(d)

About the Author

CLAUDIO GROSSMAN, Professor and Dean Emeritus at Washington College of Law, acted as a Commissioner of the OAS' Inter-American Human Rights Commission (IACHR) from 1993-2001, and its President in 1996 and 2001. During this time, Grossman was appointed as the IACHR's first Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Women, and its Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Populations. He served as Chair of the UN Committee on Torture (2008-2015) and has just been elected to a five-year term on the UN's International Law Commission.

AGUSTINA DEL CAMPO is an LLM graduate and former Impact Litigation Project Coordinator at American University Washington College of Law. She currently directs the Center for Studies on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information (CELE) in Argentina.

MINA A. TRUDEAU is an alumna of the U.S. Fulbright Program (Turkey) and American University Washington College of Law, where she was a Public Interest/Public Service Scholar.

Read an Excerpt

From Chapter One


The Court's creation of the Victims' Legal Assistance Fund helps to address the financial barriers that exist for some victims in accessing the Inter-American human rights system. However, the Fund is composed of "voluntary capital contributions from the Members States of the OAS, the Permanent Observer States, and other States and donors that may wish to collaborate with the Fund" and may not have sufficient resources to address all the existing financial needs.

- As a relatively new creation of the Court, the procedures and decision-making regarding the Fund may continue to be developed. What priorities should the Court utilize in making decisions regarding the Fund and its expenditures?

- Should the Court develop predetermined expense guidelines for fact and expert witnesses, the appointment of legal representatives, and other expenditures, or should the Court review each request and provide support so long as funding is available?

- Given the Court's recognition that it probably cannot provide funding to meet the entire financial need of requesting parties, should the Court determine how the available funding should be spent, or should the requesting party make that decision?

- Should the Court require States to routinely reimburse the Fund if the State is subsequently found to have violated the Convention in the associated case?

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