OBSERVATIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS ON THE ANNUAL REPORT
OF THE INTER-AMERICAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS
(Adopted at the fourth plenary session, held on June 3, 2008)
THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY,
HAVING SEEN the Observations and Recommendations of the Member States on the Annual Report of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CP/CAJP-2628/08);
HIGHLIGHTING that 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of the adoption of the American Convention on Human Rights and the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights;
That in the Declaration of the Third Summit of the Americas, held in Quebec City, the Heads of State and Government stated that their “commitment to full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms is based on shared principles and convictions” and that they supported “strengthening and enhancing the effectiveness of the inter American human rights system, which includes ... the Inter-American Court of Human Rights”;
That in the Declaration and the Plan of Action of the Fourth Summit of the Americas, held in Mar del Plata, Argentina, the Heads of State and Government recognized that the promotion and protection of human rights, on the basis of the principles of universality, indivisibility, and interdependence, are essential to the functioning of democratic societies. Likewise, they undertook “[t]o continue supporting and strengthening the functioning of the bodies of the Inter-American System of Human Rights, promoting within the political bodies of the OAS, in the framework of the ongoing reflection process, concrete actions to achieve, among other objectives, greater adhesion to the legal instruments, an effective observance of the decisions by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and due consideration of the recommendations of the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights, and the improvement of access of the victims to the mechanisms of the system, and the adequate financing of the bodies of the System, including the fostering of voluntary contributions”;
That Article 54.f of the Charter of the Organization of American States establishes that it is a function of the General Assembly to consider the observations and recommendations presented by the Permanent Council on the reports of the organs, agencies, and entities of the Organization, in accordance with Article 91.f of the Charter; and
That Article 65 of the American Convention on Human Rights establishes that “to each regular session of the General Assembly of the Organization of American States the Court shall submit, for the Assembly’s consideration, a report on its work during the previous year. It shall specify, in particular, the cases in which a state has not complied with its judgments, making any pertinent recommendations”;
UNDERSCORING WITH SATISFACTION the efficient work done by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the exercise of its advisory functions, and in particular its substantial output in 2007 with respect to its contentious functions;
EXPRESSING ITS APPRECIATION for the offers of the Governments of Chile, Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala, Colombia, Honduras, Uruguay, Mexico, Ecuador, and the Dominican Republic to host special sessions of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, as a means of promoting the inter-American human rights system;
NOTING the practice initiated by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to hold private hearings on the monitoring of compliance with its judgments;
RECOGNIZING the importance of the training activities carried out by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for judges and others involved in the administration of justice, as a means of bringing about a better understanding of the inter-American human rights system;
EXPRESSING APPRECIATION for the valuable, detailed report “Monetary Reparations and Status of Compliance Therewith,” presented to the states by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, which describes and highlights the Court’s work in this area; and
UNDERSCORING the importance of the initiative of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to hold a seminar in 2009, with the participation of civil society, on progress made in human rights in the region, which would also afford an excellent opportunity to share best practices on the subject and to consider the present problems faced by the system and its future challenges,
To adopt the Observations and Recommendations of the Member States on the Annual Report of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (CP/CAJP-2628/08); and to forward them to that organ.
To reaffirm the essential value of the work of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in enhancing the protection and defense of human rights in the Hemisphere.
To reiterate that the judgments of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights are final and may not be appealed, and that the states parties to the American Convention on Human Rights undertake to comply with the decisions of the Court in all cases to which they are party.
To reiterate the need for states parties to provide, in a timely fashion, the information requested by the Court in order to enable it to fully meet its obligation to report to the General Assembly on compliance with its judgments.
To reaffirm the importance of:
The advisory function of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for the development of inter-American jurisprudence and international human rights law;
The jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights for the effective exercise of and respect for human rights in the Hemisphere; and consequently the importance of the dissemination of its decisions by the member states, as they deem it appropriate;
The special sessions of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights held away from its headquarters, given their importance in disseminating information on the inter-American human rights system and especially on the work of the Inter-American Court; and
The training activities conducted by the Inter-American Court for judges and others involved in the administration of justice.
To instruct the Permanent Council to:
Continue its consideration of the issue of “Access of victims to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (jus standi) and its application in practice,” including its financial and budgetary implications, taking into account the need to maintain procedural equity and to redefine the role of the Commission in proceedings before the Court;
Continue to consider means of encouraging compliance by member states with the judgments of the Court; and
Continue analyzing ways to achieve an effective increase of the financial resources allocated to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the program-budget of the Organization. To that end, thank the Secretary General of the Organization for his work and urge him to continue his efforts and present additional proposals for achieving adequate funding for the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in the program-budget of the Organization.
To thank the member states (Colombia, Costa Rica, and Mexico) and permanent observers (Norway and Spain) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which have made voluntary contributions to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. In addition, to urge member states to contribute to the Specific Fund for Strengthening the Inter-American System for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights; and to encourage permanent observers and other donors in accordance with Article 74 of the General Standards to Govern the Operations of the General Secretariat to make voluntary contributions to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
To encourage member states to continue to invite the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to hold special sessions away from its headquarters.
To urge the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights to continue to hold specialized seminars on the inter-American system for the promotion and protection of human rights for government officials.
To support the initiative of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to hold a seminar on the present and future challenges to the inter-American human rights system.
To invite the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to continue to participate, with its judges, in the dialogue with member states in the reflection process on strengthening the inter-American human rights system, within the context of the Committee on Juridical and Political Affairs.
12. Also to invite the Inter-American Court to bear in mind the proposals and comments issued by the member states in the framework of the dialogue, between the member states and the members of the IACHR and the Court, on the functioning of the inter-American human rights system, on April 4, 2008, as well as the contributions by civil society, as set out in the report of that meeting (CP/CAJP-2644/08), and to adopt the measures it deems appropriate in the framework of its autonomy and independence.
13. To thank the Court for its willingness to dialogue with member states as part of the joint reflection process in the event of possible reforms to its Rules of Procedure.
14. To urge member states to consider the signature and ratification of, ratification of, or accession to, as the case may be, the American Convention on Human Rights and other instruments of the system, including acceptance of the binding jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
15. To request the Permanent Council to report to the General Assembly at its thirty-ninth regular session on the implementation of this resolution, the execution of which shall be subject to the availability of financial resources in the program-budget of the Organization and other resources.
AG/RES. 2409 (XXXVIII-O/08)