Decision-Making Process of the Inter-American Court: An Analysis Prompted by the 'In Vitro Fertilization' Case

44 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2013 Last revised: 21 Jan 2015

Álvaro Paúl

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile

Date Written: October 1, 2013

Abstract

This commentary uses the case Artavia-Murillo et al. v. Costa Rica as a starting point for analyzing the decision-making process of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The Artavia case refers to the Costa Rican ban on in vitro fertilization and to some other life-related issues. This case reveals, in a strikingly clear fashion, certain features of the argumentative processes of the Court of the Americas. Some of these features are this court’s extra-Convention jurisdiction, its maximalist approach to decision-making, its use of non-binding instruments as a means for adjudicating, its evolutive interpretation of the Convention without objective parameters, its lack of deference toward domestic interpretation of rights, and its hispanocentrism. This commentary concludes that some of these features may undermine the Inter-American Court’s prestige.

Keywords: Inter-American Court, decision-making, soft law, interpretation, margin of appreciation, in vitro fertilization, abortion

Suggested Citation

Paúl, Álvaro, Decision-Making Process of the Inter-American Court: An Analysis Prompted by the 'In Vitro Fertilization' Case (October 1, 2013). ILSA Journal of International & Comparative Law, Vol. 21, No. 1, Fall 2014, pp. 87-130. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2303637 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2303637

Álvaro Paúl (Contact Author)

Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile ( email )

Av Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins 340
Santiago
Santiago, Región Metropolitana 8331150
Chile

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