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On June 5th, the Organization of American States celebrated its 48th General Assembly in Washington DC. There it was announced that candidates Eduardo Ferrer Mac-Gregor Poisot, from Mexico, and Humberto Sierra Porto, from Colombia, were re-elected to serve another mandate as judges on the Inter-American Court of Human Rights from 2019 until 2024. The candidate Ricardo Pérez Manrique, from Uruguay, was also elected. However, Nardi Elizabeth Suxo Iturry, from Bolivia, did not win a seat on the Tribunal.

Ferrer Mac-Gregor Poisot is the current President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. He also works as a teacher at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) and is a researcher at the Institute of Legal Research of the UNAM. Sierra Porto served as President of the Court between 2014 and 2015. He was also President of the Constitutional Court of Colombia and has held teaching positions, mainly at the Externado University of Colombia. Finally, Pérez Manrique was the President of the Supreme Court of Justice of Uruguay. He is a member of the Ibero-American Commission of Judicial Ethics and worked as a professor and researcher, mainly in universities in Argentina and Uruguay, among other countries. These judges will join Eduardo Vio Grossi (Chile), Elizabeth Odio Benito (Costa Rica), Eugenio Raúl Zaffaroni (Argentina) and Patricio Pazmiño Freire (Ecuador).

The candidates were also evaluated by an Independent Panel of Experts. The Panel was convened by the Open Society Justice Initiative, the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), and the Due Process of Law Foundation (DPLF), and have been endorsed by human rights groups, non-governmental organizations, and universities throughout the region. Its main purpose is to push for more transparent and rigorous nomination and election processes in the Inter-American Human Rights System.

The 2018 Panel was composed of four renowned academics with recognized expertise in human rights— Carlos Ayala (Venezuela), Ximena Medellín (Mexico), Juan Méndez (Argentina) and Naomi Roht-Arriaza (United States). For the first time, the Center for Human Rights and Humanitarian Law at American University Washington College of Law served as the Secretariat of the Panel. The Panel’s final report includes an assessment of the four candidates and recommendations to the States and to the OAS to improve their nomination and election mechanisms. Two similar Panels evaluated the candidates for both the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Court during the 2015 and 2017 elections.