Courts Resisting Courts: Lessons from the Inter-American Court's Struggle to Enforce Human Rights
56 Pages Posted: 18 Aug 2011
Date Written: August 17, 2011
Courts Resisting Courts explores a critical tension in international law: the relationship between international and national courts. Leading theorists assume that autonomous national courts heighten compliance with international human rights regimes. This article challenges this orthodoxy. It focuses on the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, an international court unique in that it orders far-reaching, innovative remedies that invoke action not only by the State's executive, but also the legislature and local courts. Original data reveals that national courts, more than any other branch of government, shirk the Court's rulings. This article turns this insight into a prescription for gaining greater compliance: international human rights courts need to directly engage national justice systems, cultivating them into compliant partners. This argument is relevant not only to the Inter-American Court, but to courts with jurisdiction over human rights across the globe.
Keywords: Human Rights, Judicial Politics, Latin America, Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Judicial Dialogue
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