The Anglo-Latin Divide and the Future of the Inter-American System of Human Rights
Notre Dame Journal of International & Comparative Law: Vol. 5: Iss. 1, Article 6
19 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2017
Date Written: April 16, 2015
A former President of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Paolo Carozza draws on his personal experience to identify and propose solutions for a key flaw in the Inter-American Human Rights System: the division between English-language member states and states with Latin-based languages. Terming this division “The Anglo-Latin Divide,” Carozza traces the division not only to linguistic difference, but also to differences in legal traditions. He explains how the differences between Anglo tradition of common law and the Latin tradition of civil law manifest in both substantive and procedural divides within the Inter-American Human Rights system, including in sensitive areas of the law such as right-to-life cases. Carozza offers solutions for the future, ranging from changing the composition of the InterAmerican Court and Commission to the radical solution of requiring universal ratification of the American Convention on Human Rights. Ultimately, Carozza concludes that, whatever the solution, the viability and strength of the Inter-American system requires a much stronger effort to integrate the English-speaking world into a Latin-dominated system.
Keywords: Human Rights, Comparative Law, Inter-American Human Rights System
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