This book presents the most thorough analysis to date on the jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) concerning full reparations. This jurisprudence interprets Article 63 of the American Convention on Human Rights. In its interpretation of the Convention, the IACtHR is guided by the important notion that human rights instruments should be interpreted in light of its object and purpose, in accordance of the State members of the Organization of the American States.
The Court’s jurisprudence ensures that victims of human rights violations are awarded not only monetary compensation in cases, but also a full array of reparations designed to restore their dignity and reaffirm the value of the rule of law. Accordingly, reparation also includes moral compensation, guarantees of non-repetition, and truth as a measure of satisfaction. The impact of the Inter-American jurisprudence in this matter has gone beyond the regional hemispheric systems. The UN Committee Against Torture relied on the Court’s jurisprudence in the drafting of General Comment No. 3, while the other regional human rights systems have resorted to the Inter-American jurisprudence in developing their own concepts of reparation.
More specifically, the book explores the notions of “fair remedy,” “injured party,” and the possibility of achieving “restitutio in integrum” for human rights violations through an analysis of decisions issued by the Inter-American Court. The book urges its reader to consider not only the current status of the law, but also the role played by victims, lawyers, Commissioners, and Judges in its jurisprudential development. As a living instrument, the value of the American Convention depends in great part on their actions and decisions. This book, by presenting the role of the different actors through concrete cases that shaped the system, encourages everyone to think how the System should continue to satisfy the aspirations of justice in cases of human rights violations.
In order to emphasize the crucial understanding that the jurisprudence cannot remain static and that new circumstances and different sets of facts could lead the Inter-American Court’s jurisprudence to develop in directions that have not yet been addressed or even imagined, this book not only presents the status of the law and the original documents essential for legal reasoning, but also raises questions and presents problems in a way that could prove useful not only for practical purposes, but also for theoretical purposes by striving to achieve coherence in the application of international legal standards.
Viviana Krsticevic –
“International Law and Reparations: The Inter-American System is an indispensable book for practitioners and scholars working in the area of international human rights. It provides a comprehensive, systematic, and insightful analysis of the jurisprudence on reparations of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. In doing so, it makes a definitive contribution to the field of international law, and strengthens our collective capacity to achieve meaningful and effective reparations on behalf of victims.”
Executive Director, Centre for Justice and International Law
James Cavallaro –
“This may well be the most ambitious and comprehensive text on reparations in the Inter-American system to date. Thorough not only in the scope of issues addressed, but also in its treatment of individual topics and of the case excerpts themselves. This work both synthesizes the broad range of reparations law of the Inter-American Court and draws vital connections with other areas of doctrine and procedure: between the tribunal’s jurisprudence on reparations and related substantive guarantees (such as the prohibition on amnesty laws) and between norms on reparations and the procedural mechanisms (provisional measures and compliance monitoring) necessary for their enjoyment in practice. Rigorous and complete, this book is a must for any student, scholar or practitioner in the area.”
—James Cavallaro, Professor of Law
Stanford Law School Director, Stanford Human Rights Center Director, Stanford International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic
Juan E Mendez –
“The obligation to offer reparations to victims of human rights violations is a well-established rule. Yet international treaty law says little about the scope, modality and quantum of reparations, as well as about who qualifies as a ‘victim’ for these purposes. The Inter-American Court of Human Rights has to a large extent filled that void with a wealth of precedents and a rigorous approach to follow-up and implementation. Claudio Grossman, Agustina del Campo and Mina Trudeau have produced a comprehensive and well-organized analysis of that jurisprudence that will prove invaluable to scholars and practitioners — in international as well as in domestic litigation— in the Americas and well beyond the region.”
—Juan E Mendez
Professor of Human Rights Law in Residence Commissioner, International Commission of Jurists Former UN Special Rapporteur against Torture (2010-2016)
Pablo Saavedra Alessandri –
“The concept of integral reparations is one of the most significant contributions of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights to international human rights law. Scholars in Latin America and other regions have studied this doctrine, yet this is the most comprehensive book written in English that approaches the concept in a clear, pedagogic and ample way. The authors have achieved a meticulous selection of case law that shows a comprehensive perspective of the concept of integral reparation, including: economic compensation, restitution, rehabilitation, satisfaction and guarantees of non-repetition. It also displays the dynamics involved in the challenging process of monitoring the compliance with the judgments undertaken by the Inter-American Court. The way the book is presented and organized ends up being a great tool for researchers, scholars and practitioners. Without a doubt this one-of-a-kind piece constitutes a great contribution to the field of international human rights law, and particularly to the Inter-American System of Human Rights.”
—Pablo Saavedra Alessandri Secretary, Inter-American Court of Human Rights