Press Release

Joint Working Group of Commission and Court Holds its Third Meeting

July 3, 2017

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Washington, D.C. / San Jose - The third meeting of the Joint Working Group of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights took place June 22, 2017, in the framework of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS). The preparatory meeting—held ahead of a joint plenary meeting of both bodies on September 2 in Mexico—advanced the dialogue the two institutions have been developing successfully and in greater depth in recent years.

The Joint Working Group addressed the challenges stemming from the procedural backlog that has built up over the years due to the lack of adequate funding. Following the OAS General Assembly’s historic decision to double, over the next three years, the resources allocated from the OAS Regular Fund to the bodies of the inter-American human rights system, the IACHR noted that these additional resources will enable it to implement new strategies to reduce the procedural backlog. The Commission also updated the Court on initiatives it has already implemented in this area.

The Joint Working Group also addressed issues involving the expert opinions offered by the IACHR, as well as the Commission’s role in monitoring compliance with judgments and implementation of provisional measures already in place. The Working Group also discussed the policy for submitting cases to the Inter-American Court, the criteria by which decisions are made for the Court to carry out on-site visits, and various aspects involving the presentation by the IACHR to the Court of requests for provisional measures and advisory opinions.

Finally, the Commission and the Court determined that the first edition of the Inter-American Forum on Human Rights will take place December 4-6 in Washington, D.C. This will be an official annual event of the inter-American human rights system, sponsored jointly by both human rights bodies. The event will be public and open to anyone who uses the inter-American system and other interested parties.

The Joint Working Group was created by the IACHR and the Inter-American Court in August 2016 to follow up on discussions between both plenaries throughout the year. It is made up of the Presidents, Vice-Presidents, and Executive Secretaries of both institutions. After three coordination meetings of the Working Group, the bodies will hold a joint plenary meeting with the participation of all the Judges and Commissioners on September 2 in Mexico, to evaluate the progress made on the current agenda of dialogue and approve new coordination issues for the next cycle.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for and defense of human rights in the region, and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this area. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.

No. 089/17