This course will examine the Inter-American Human Rights System, its impact on the protection of the individual, the strengthening of democratic institutions and the rule of law in the Americas. The course will be divided in two parts. The first part of the course will examine the practice and procedure of the two main institutions of the Inter-American Human Rights System: The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) and the Inter-American Court on Human Rights (IACtHR); including a practical training that will enable students to engage in a lively interaction with the IACHR. The second part will examine the main developments of this regional system’s jurisprudence. Specifically, in this part of the course there will be a discussion of the approaches of the Inter-American System with respect to impunity and transitional justice, freedom of expression, the rights of women, indigenous peoples’ rights and the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex persons. In this section of the course, we will also analyze U.S. engagement with the Inter-American System.
Through this course, students will acquire a strong substantive and practical understanding of the functioning, challenges and opportunities of the Inter-American Human Rights System and how it can be used to protect human rights in the Americas.