Compliance Agreements in the Inter-American Human Rights System
Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law & International Law (MPIL) Research Paper No. 2021-26
44 Pages Posted: 8 Dec 2021
Date Written: November 29, 2021
We identify and evaluate a legal instrument hitherto ignored in analyses of the Inter-American Human Rights System: compliance agreements. These agreements emerged as a tool to negotiate the implementation of recommendations made by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights once the Commission has found states responsible for human rights violations. In the first part of the paper, we document the emergence of this legal instrument and its novel role in the system. In the second part, we provide statistical evidence from event-history and difference-in-differences models showing that agreements increase the probability of compliance and cut the expected time to compliance by half. Agreements thus contribute to a potential solution for the perceived crisis of compliance in the Inter-American Human Rights System.
This project was developed as part of Notre Dame Reparations Design and Compliance Lab. We are indebted to Gisela de León, Daniel García, and Jorge Meza for their valuable insights about the use of compliance agreements. Sara Atassi, Belen Carriedo, Ronan King, Carmen Lopez, Asha Mendis, Ally Morcus, and Shea Smith collaborated with the development of the project.
Keywords: Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, compliance agreements, impact, statistical models
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