The Backlash against Regional Human Rights Systems: An Ongoing Concern


In recent times, international and regional human rights systems have been the target of outspoken criticism or reform initiatives to undermine their legitimacy. In some cases, the underlying reasons stemmed from a return towards notions of national sovereignty or because of a false perception that democratic governments should be provided a wider discretion to address human rights concerns. Additionally, issues regarding the alleged democratic deficit of these institutions have been raised in this debate. This backlash has also involved a reticence from national courts to comply with international judgments as a way to reassert their authority to be the final interpreter of the national laws. The conference will explore these issues and debate about the future of regional human rights courts from the perspective of two sitting judges in the European and Inter-American Court of Human Rights, respectively.

  • Luis Lopez Guerra, Judge, European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg, France
  • Eduardo Ferrer MacGregor Poisot, Judge, Inter-American Court on Human Rights, Organization of American States, San José, Costa Rica 

Moderator: Elizabeth Abi-Mershed, Assistant Executive Secretary, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Organization of American States (OAS), Washington, D.C.

Date and Location

Friday, June 2, 2017 - 12:30pm to 2:30pm
ASIL Tillar House
Address 1: 
2223 Massachusetts Ave NW
Zip Code: