Taking Stock: The Role of the Inter-American Court as a Pivotal Actor in Upholding Human Rights in the Americas: Jurisprudential Construction and New Challenges


The Inter-American Court of Human Rights, established in 1979 after the coming into force of the American Convention on Human Rights, has become a pivotal actor in shaping the scope of human rights protection in the Americas. The jurisprudence developed by this tribunal has challenged entrenched impunity at the domestic level and has expanded on human rights notions essential for the consolidation of more democratic regimes in the region. In spite of its successes, the Court’s role and the value of its pronouncements have been under constant debate, given the increasing tensions between the demands for justice from victims and vulnerable groups and the claims of states arguing that the Court’s scrutiny of domestic policies must be less intrusive with democratically elected governments. Consequently, in recent times the Court has faced opposition and resistance from domestic constituencies and authorities, particularly as it relates to issues of racial discrimination, freedom of speech, violence from private actors and the rights of indigenous peoples. This panel will explore, through the lenses of a former judge and a current judge, the contributions of the past and the challenges ahead as we move into a period in which demands for the recognition of new rights and groups are being pushed and presented for consideration to the Court.


  • Antonio Cancado Trindade, International Court of Justice
  • Eduardo Ferrer MacGregor Poisot, Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Organization of American States

This event is part of the ASIL-American University Human Rights Speaker Series. 

Date and Location

Wednesday, May 27, 2015 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
American Society of International Law
Address 1: 
2223 Massachusetts Ave NW