Organization of American States

Press Release

December 11, 1998

Brazil Recognizes Jurisdiction of Inter-American Court of Human Rights

The Brazilian government has informed the Organization of American States (OAS) that it has recognized the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in all cases related to the interpretation or application of the American Convention on Human Rights.

In a document addressed to OAS Secretary General CÚsar Gaviria and dated December 10, Brazil’s permanent representative to the OAS, Ambassador Carlos Alberto Leite Barbosa, said the Brazilian National Congress had approved President Fernando Henrique Cardoso’s request for acceptance of the Inter-American Court’s jurisdiction.

"On this day in which we commemorate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the declaration recognizing the competence of the Inter-American Court reinforces the firm desire of the Brazilian government to strengthen the inter-American system for the promotion and protection of human rights," Ambassador Leite Barbosa said.

OAS Secretary General CÚsar Gaviria welcomed the announcement, saying that with this step Brazil "demonstrates, in clear and definite terms, its real commitment to the international protection of human rights, in this 50th anniversary year of the Universal and the American Declarations."

The American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man was signed on May 2, 1948, and the Universal Declaration followed on December 10 of that year.

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights, based in San JosÚ, Costa Rica, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, based in Washington, D.C., together provide recourse to citizens of the hemisphere who have suffered human rights violations.

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