Press Release

IACHR and Inter-American Court Agree to Strengthen Cooperation on the Petition and Case System

March 26, 2014

Washington, D.C. / San Jose - The plenary of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) welcomed a delegation of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, as part of an interinstitutional dialogue between the bodies that make up the inter-American human rights system.

The meeting took place at Commission headquarters, during its 150th regular session. The Inter-American Court was represented at the meeting by its Chair, Humberto Sierra Porto (Colombia); Vice-Chair, Roberto F. Caldas (Brazil); and Executive Secretary, Pablo Saavedra. The Commission was represented by its Chair, Tracy Robinson (Jamaica); First Vice-Chair, Rose-Marie Antoine (Saint Lucia and Trinidad and Tobago); Second Vice-Chair, Felipe González (Chile); and Commissioners José de Jesús Orozco Henríquez, Rosa María Ortiz, James L. Cavallaro, and Paulo Vannuchi, along with Executive Secretary Emilio Alvarez Icaza and Assistant Executive Secretary Elizabeth Abi-Mershed.

During the meeting, the members of the Commission and the Court discussed their views on some of the current challenges involving the petition and case system. In addition, they agreed to strengthen their interinstitutional cooperation so as to improve efficiency in the processing of petitions and cases, bearing in mind that this function is shared by the Commission and the Court under the American Convention.

“The meeting was extremely productive,” the Chair of the IACHR said. “Our functions and roles are different and at the same time complementary. We share the same commitment. In this sense, we expect to strengthen our dialogue and cooperation even further so as to improve the system’s capacity and effectiveness, despite the serious limitations we face in terms of available resources,” Commissioner Robinson added.

For his part, the Chair of the Inter-American Court, Humberto Sierra Porto, expressed his satisfaction over the meeting and over the willingness of the two bodies of the inter-American human rights system to engage in dialogue. In this regard, the Chair of the Court indicated that “it is important to have a fluid dialogue between the Court and the Commission, to examine the current and future challenges facing the inter-American system as a whole. We must make every effort so that this type of dialogue is institutionalized.”

The members of the Commission and the Court agreed on the need to significantly increase their human resources and funding to be able to fulfill the mandate and duties assigned to them by the member countries of the Organization of American States (OAS).

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 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.

Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH)
Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH)
Left to right, IACHR Commissioners José de Jesús Orozco, James Cavallaro, Rosa María Ortiz; Vice-President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Magistrate Roberto Caldas; President of the Court, Magistrate Humberto Antonio Sierra Porto; IACHR Chair, Commissioner Tracy Robinson, and IACHR Commissioners Rose-Marie Antoine, Paulo Vannuchi and Felipe González.

No. 28/14