Constructing Human Rights In The Americas : Institutional Development And Practice In The New World
A number of recent, important contributions to the literature of supranational judicial institution building consider how courts have developed the capabilities to enforce decisions limiting the sovereignty of nation-states in the twenty-first century. Mary Volcansek, for example, argues for the momentum, if not inevitability, of certain dispute resolution mechanisms in trading blocs when economic conditions are both "stable and durable.” The success of economic integration in Western Europe and the proliferation of regional trading pacts including both the North Atlantic Free Trade Association (NAFTA) and the World Trade Organization (WTO) auger well for even greater strides toward judicial institution building as cross-border transactions ratchet upward "in number and intensity, to establish comprehensive rules and ... mechanism [ s] to enforce them.”
This chapter provides an alternative perspective to that of the Europe case where transnational courts have attained some considerable measures of supranational authority, especially in the areas of rulemaking and compliance. In the New World, the developing human rights regime is removed from the conspicuous achievements of supranational law, policymaking, and economics that characterize the European context. Yet an examination of the Inter-American system reveals how both the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights have made important strides forward even in light of the strong emphasis on state sovereignty. The evolution of a human rights regime in the Americas illustrates the power that transnational forces have exerted in creating institutions and practices that challenge unfettered state abuses of human rights during the past thirty years.
Carolina Academic Press
International courts, Judge made law, Sovereignty
Courts | Law
John F. Stack, Jr., Constructing Human Rights In The Americas : Institutional Development And Practice In The New World, in COURTS CROSSING BORDERS : BLURRING THE LINES OF SOVEREIGNTY, (Mary L. Volcansek and John F. Stack, Jr., eds., Carolina Academic Press, Durham, NC, 2005).