Huneeus, A. (2011). Courts resisting courts: Lessons from the Inter-American Court’s Struggle to Enforce Human Rights. Cornell International Law Journal 44(3), 493-534.

The IACHR was founded in November of 1969 but wasn’t ratified until July 18, 1978.

In the article entitled, “Courts Resisting Courts: Lessons from the Inter-American Court’s Struggle to Enforce Human Rights” by Alexandra Huneeus explores the complex relationship between international and national human rights courts.  The struggle between the courts to be able to reach compliance is the reason why human rights crimes in Latin America have difficulty being enforced.  In a majority of Inter-American courts, they demand that some sort of prosecution or judicial action be taken such as an investigator, hearing, or trial. Courts demand that the state takes specific remedial action and often orders actions that the Executive cannot enforce, thus leading to noncompliance.  In the article Huneeus gives a multistep solution calling for international human rights courts to directly engage with national justice systems, so they can cultivate a culture of personal relation with state actors that are needed in the process of implementation the case.  In the article it explores court cases in many Latin America and how the more involved other parts of the government are needed in the trial the less likely the compliance will be.

Throughout the article, Huneeus gives empirical evidence of the lack of compliance between the two courts resulting in many cases not fulfilling the requirements necessary for implementing new laws against the crimes committed.  Huneeus gives specific evidence related to which cases need different parts of the government to pass laws, provide necessary help for victim, or punish accuser(s).  Also, throughout the article Huneeus compares the Inter-American Human Rights Court to the European Human Rights Court. Providing the reader with an example on how different courts have different requirements for the implementation of justice.  Huneeus has a lot of experience with both the Inter-American court and state court as she is serving as a Foreign Expert Jurist in Colombian Jurisdiccion para la Paz.    

The information gathered in the article is something that is not always brought up in human rights enforcement.  The article gives a different perspective on how to fix the problem of actually get human rights cases heard and getting results from the cases. The article gives the reader new information on how international human rights courts can help achieve a culture norm for violations of human rights to be punished.  It also provides a different outlook on who should be involved and who is actually involved in the cases.


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