Press Release

IACHR and Inter-American Court Hold Joint Working Meeting

September 5, 2017

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Mexico City - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights met on September 2 for the fifth consecutive year in order to deepen inter-institutional dialogue.

The IACHR and the Inter-American Court reported on the results of the Working Group, composed of both bodies to follow up on this dialogue. Among the important results achieved, the Working Group contributed to the historic decision taken by the OAS General Assembly in June of this year to double the budget of the bodies of the inter-American system over the next three years. Both bodies reiterated their appreciation to the American States in adopting this decision and reaffirmed their commitment to manage these funds with the same transparency and accountability with the objective of increasing and improving access to justice for victims of human rights violations.

During the meeting, the Judges and Commissioners elaborated on some of the central issues to the current challenges of the petitions and cases process before the Inter-American System. In this regard, they dealt with the policies of submission of cases, provisional measures and advisory opinions requests by the Commission to the Inter-American Court. Likewise, the criteria for joining cases were presented by the IACHR, as well as the role of the Commission in the litigation before the Inter-American Court.

"We are pleased that the dialogue and cooperation between the two bodies has intensified in the last five years with the sole purpose of making the protection and promotion of human rights in the Americas more efficient," said the President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Judge Roberto F. Caldas. He added that "the functions and roles are different and complementary eventhough we both share the same commitment, so dialogue is fundamental."

For its part, the President of the IACHR, Francisco Eguiguren, described this meeting as "highly productive". He stressed that "it is necessary to analyze and reflect constantly on the challenges facing both bodies with a view to advancing effectiveness and expanding institutional capacity."

The Inter-American Court emphasized the importance of using its advisory function through the issuance of Advisory Opinions, which may be requested by OAS bodies, including the Commission, as well as by the States Parties. The Commission also updated the Court on initiatives and strategies considered to deal with the procedural delay. Both bodies coordinated their agenda for next year's sessions, which will be published in due course.

On the other hand, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the IACHR refined the details of the First Inter-American Forum on Human Rights, to be held in December 4-6 in Washington, D.C. This official event, organized by both organs of the inter-American system, will be public and open to all users of the inter-American system and interested sectors.

Both bodies expressed their deep regret for the death of Mr. Alberto Pérez Pérez, who was a Court Judge from 2010 to 2015. Judge Pérez Pérez, Uruguayan national, was a renowned jurist with a distinguished background in the international human rights law. The Inter-American Court and the IACHR expressed their sincere condolences to the families and loved ones for the irreparable and painful loss they suffered.

The Inter-American Court was represented in the meeting by the President, Judge Roberto F. Caldas; the Vice-President, Judge Eduardo Ferrer Mac-Gregor; and Judges Humberto Antonio Sierra Porto, Elizabeth Odio Benito, Patricio Pazmiño Freire; as well as Secretary Pablo Saavedra Alessandri, Deputy Secretary Emilia Segares Rodríguez, Legal Director Alexei Julio Estrada and Attorney Bruno Rodríguez Reveggino. The Commission was represented by Commissioners Francisco José Eguiguren Praeli, President; Margaret May Macaulay, First Vice-President; Esmeralda Arosemena de Troitiño, Second Vice-President; José de Jesús Orozco Henríquez; Paulo Vannuchi; James L. Cavallaro; and Luis Ernesto Vargas Silva, as well as Paulo Abrão, Executive Secretary; Elizabeth Abi-Mershed, Deputy Executive Secretary; Soledad García, Special Rapporteur on DESCA; Edison Lanza, Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, and Silvia Serrano, Attorney.

Both bodies thanked the Legal Research Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico for hosting this inter-institutional meeting at its headquarters for the third consecutive year.

No. 132/17