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Sur. Revista Internacional de Direitos Humanos

Print version ISSN 1806-6445


ABRAMOVICH, Víctor. From massive violations to structural patterns: new approaches and classic tensions in the inter-american human rights system. Sur, Rev. int. direitos human. [online]. 2009, vol.6, n.11, pp.6-39. ISSN 1806-6445.

The Inter-American System of Human Rights (ISHR), during the last decade, has influenced the internationalization of legal systems in various Latin American countries. This led to the gradual application of ISHR jurisprudence in constitutional courts and national supreme courts, and most recently, in the formulation of some state policies. This process resulted in major institutional changes, but there have been problems and obstacles, which have led to some setbacks. The ISHR finds itself in a period of intense debates, which seek to define thematic priorities and the logic of intervention, in the context of a new regional political environment of deficient and exclusionary democracies, different from the political landscape in which the ISHR was born and took its first steps. This article seeks to present an overview of some strategic discussions about the role of the ISHR in the regional political sphere. This article suggests that the ISHR should in the future intensify its political role, by focusing on the structural obstacles that affect the meaningful exercise of rights by the subordinate sectors of the population. To achieve this, it should safeguard its subsidiary role in relation to the national justice systems and ensure that its principles and standards are incorporating not only the reasoning of domestic courts, but the general trend of the laws and governmental policies.

Keywords : Inter-American System of Human Rights; Human rights violations; Internationalization of domestic legal systems.

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