American System

The Human Rights Brief launches its Special Coverage of the 149th Session of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR). News updates, background information, and legal analysis of each open hearing will be posted online throughout the week of October 24 – November 8. All content is available for practitioners and media to syndicate.

Possibility of Justice for Baby Doc’s Victims

baby doc

Investigations into former Haitian President Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier will resume after Haiti’s Court of Appeals ruled that the alleged crimes against humanity did not fall under the statute of limitations. On February 20, 2014, the Court of Appeals reversed a January 2012 decision that found the statute of limitations had expired, which effectively stalled [Read More...]

American University Washington College of Law Students Take an Alternative Break in Navajo Nation

Great Seal of the Navajo Nation Judicial Branch

While spring break for many students means a relaxing respite from classes, a group of sixteen American University Washington College of Law (AUWCL) students opted to use the break to instead provide pro bono legal services to the underserved community in Navajo Nation. Action for Human Rights (AHR), a student group at AUWCL, partnered with [Read More...]

IACtHR Finds Argentina Responsible for Murder of Police Commissioner, But Falls Short of Addressing Institutional Corruption

Photo by David Berkowitz

Last term, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR, Court) decided the case of Gutiérrez and Family v. Argentina, concluding that Argentina state officials were responsible for the 1994 extrajudicial killing of Jorge Omar Gutiérrez, the then Assistant Commissioner of the Buenos Aires Provincial Police, and guilty of obstruction of justice in the subsequent investigation. [Read More...]

Favorable Court Ruling Sheds Light on Situation of LGBT Youth in Jamaica


On March 7, 2014, a New Kingston, Jamaica court handed down an unusual two-part ruling in a case involving a group of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. The judge convicted the LGBT youth of breaking the country’s “bad word” law after the group used profanity toward police during their arrest, and, in addition, [Read More...]

OAS Permanent Council Meeting Regarding Venezuelan Social Unrest

Photo Courtesy of Durdaneta

  On February 25, 2014, the government of Panama requested a special session of the Organization of American States (OAS) Permanent Council to discuss the social unrest in Venezuela. Panama requested the special session in the hopes of finding a solution to quell the social unrest affecting Venezuela. The OAS Permanent Council privately convened on [Read More...]

New President Promises Constitutional Reforms in Chile

Photo Credit: European Parliament -

“We need a constitution born in democracy. The one we have now is illegitimate,” Michelle Bachelet stated before the December 2013 Chilean presidential election, which she went on to win with sixty-two percent of the vote. The original version of Chile’s current constitution was approved in a controversial 1980 election through General Augusto Pinochet’s attempt [Read More...]

Régimen legal y práctica institucional para imponer restricciones a los derechos políticos de las personas en Colombia

Comisionados: Tracy Robinson, Felipe González, José de Jesús Orozco, Paulo Vannuchi, Emilio Álvarez-Icaza (Secretario Ejecutivo), Elizabeth Abi-Mershed (Secretaria Ejecutiva Adjunta) Peticionarios: Asociación Minga,Corporación Colectivo de Abogados José Alvear Restrepo (CCAJAR),Comisión Intereclesial de Justicia y Paz (CIJP) Estado: Colombia English version available here Desde el año 2002, cerca de 700 funcionarios colombianos elegidos por votación popular [Read More...]

La situación del Estado de la ley en Honduras

Crédito Fotográfico: Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos

English Version Here.  Traducido por Luis Cáceres Comisionados: Tracy Robinson (Relatora para Honduras), James L. Cavallaro, José de Jesús Orozco Henríquez Peticionarios: : Asociación de Jueces por la Democracia (AJD),  Centro de Prevención, Tratamiento y Rehabilitación de las Víctimas de la Tortura y sus Familiares (CPTRT),  Comité de Familiares de Detenidos Desaparecidos en Honduras (COFADEH), [Read More...]

Situación de Derechos Humanos de las Personas Privadas de Libertad en Venezuela

Crédito fotográfico: Comisión Inter-Americana de Derechos Humanos.

English version available here Comisionados: Rose-Marie Belle Antoine, Felipe González, James L. Cavallaro, Emilio Álvarez Icaza Longoria (Secretario Ejecutivo) Peticionarios: Observatorio Venezolano de Prisiones (OVP) Estado: Venezuela En la audiencia del 28 de marzo de 2014, los peticionarios afirmaron ante la Comisión Inter-American de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) que a los prisioneros en Venezuela se le [Read More...]

Situación de Derechos Humanos de los Trabajadores Migrantes en República Dominicana

English versión available here Comisionados: Rosa María Ortiz, Rose Marie Antoine, James L. Cavallaro, Felipe González Peticionarios: Genaro Rincón, Gregoria Corporan, Juan Reemberto Pichardo, Josefina Pichardo (viuda de Pichardo), Manuel de Jesús Dandre, María Martínez Estado: Republica Dominicana En Marzo 24 del 2014, los Peticionarios se presentaron ante la Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) [Read More...]