Parting Ways or Lashing Back? Withdrawals, Backlash and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights
Forthcoming in a special issue of International Journal of Law in Context on “Resistance to International Courts”
iCourts Working Paper Series No. 126
37 Pages Posted: 23 Apr 2018
Date Written: April 4, 2018
This paper will analyze instances and threats of withdrawal from the IACtHR in order to assess whether those cases can be qualified as backlash. Backlash often serves as an umbrella term for any form of disagreement, hence, we differentiate backlash’ from closely connected concepts such as ‘contestation’ and ‘resistance’. In the empirical part of this paper, we examine four cases of withdrawal from the IACtHR or threats thereof, namely Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic, Peru, and Venezuela. The case studies revealed that the criticism against the IACtHR is fueled by a combination of three conditions, i.e. costs of membership, domestic political system, and domestic impact of the judgments. Ultimately, the specific framework of the IACtHR allows for innovative starting points to manage state discontent, in particular the two-tiered structure, the alliance with civil society, and the presence of compliance partners within the state.
Keywords: International Courts, Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Backlash, Withdrawal, Resistance
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