Litigating Reproductive Health Rights in the Inter-American System: What Does a Winning Case Look Like?

Health and Human Rights Journal 16(2) (2014)

RegNet Research Paper No. 2015/62

19 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2015

See all articles by Ciara O'Connell

Ciara O'Connell

University of Pretoria, Faculty of Law, Centre for Human Rights, Students

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Date Written: 2015

Abstract

Remedies and reparation measures emerging from the Inter-American System of Human Rights in reproductive health cases have consistently highlighted the need to develop, and subsequently implement, non-repetition remedies that protect, promote, and fulfill women’s reproductive health rights. Litigation outcomes that determine there have been violations of reproductive rights are regarded as a “win” for health rights litigation, but when implementation fails, is a “win” still a win? There has been considerable success in litigating reproductive health rights cases, yet the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights are not adequately equipped to follow up on cases after they have been won. Successful and sustainable implementation of reproductive health rights law requires incorporation of non-repetition remedies in the form of legislation, education, and training that seeks to remodel existing social and cultural practices that hinder women’s enjoyment of their reproductive rights. In order for a reproductive health rights case to ultimately be a “winner,” case recommendations and decisions emerging from the Commission and Court must incorporate perspectives from members of civil society, with the ultimate goal being to develop measurable remedies that address underlying obstacles to domestic implementation.

Keywords: Reproductive health rights, women’s rights, Intra-American System of Human Rights, litagation

Suggested Citation

O'Connell, Ciara, Litigating Reproductive Health Rights in the Inter-American System: What Does a Winning Case Look Like? (2015). Health and Human Rights Journal 16(2) (2014), RegNet Research Paper No. 2015/62, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2553649 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2553649

Ciara O'Connell (Contact Author)

University of Pretoria, Faculty of Law, Centre for Human Rights, Students ( email )

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Hatfield 0028
Pretoria
South Africa

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