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A Practical Guide to Using International Human Rights and Criminal Law Procedures

Connie de la Vega and Alen Mirza

This book is a practical, experience-based guide for advocates seeking remedies for human rights violations through the use of international institutions. Since 1948, when the United Nations adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, mechanisms for addressing human rights violations have multiplied to include UN Charter based bodies, treaty-based organizations including the international criminal court, and regional institutions. Each mechanism has its own admissibility requirements: accreditation, timeliness of claims, and exhaustion of remedies. For practitioners, the maze of rules and institutions can be difficult to navigate. This book offers step-by-step approaches for maximizing the institutions’ intended effect–promotion of human rights at all levels.
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Chapter 2: Regional human rights systems

Connie de la Vega and Alen Mirza


This chapter discusses the regional human rights systems in the Americas, Europe and Africa. Part 1 covers the procedures under both the Inter-American Commission and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which include the general petition process and the one under the American Convention.  Also covered are the thematic hearings before the Commission. Part 2 covers the European Court of Human Rights, including the use of Protocols and the admissibility of individual complaints. Also included are the Court's mechanisms for navigating a serious backlog of cases, the types of remedies the Court can demand from States Parties, and the role of the Council of Europe in the Court's administration. Lastly, Part 3 covers the procedures under both the African Commission and the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, which include the obtaining NGO observer status, attending Commission sessions, submitting shadow reports, writing amicus briefs, and submitting individual communications.

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