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Actions filed at the Interamerican Court of Human Rights

Wolfenson Abogados represents its clients before the highest international court in matters of human rights.

Our Firm provides legal advice in the filing of actions before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR).


The American Convention is one of the main international treaties that protects human rights in our continent. In the event that one of our clients has exhausted the challenge channels allowed by our laws, it is possible to make a request to the IACHR for the purpose of granting effective protection of their human rights.

Wolfenson focuses on the essential rights of our clients.

Here is a legal guide to provide you with general guidance on the Inter-American Court of Human Rights:

What is the Inter-American Court of Human Rights?

Corresponds to main and autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS) which is in charge of the promotion and protection of human rights (DDHH) on our continent. Its integration is carried out by seven independent members who work personally and is headquartered in San Jose, Costa Rica.

The Inter-American Court It is one of the three regional courts for the protection of human rights, together with the European Court of Human Rights and the African Court of Human and Peoples' Rights. It is an autonomous judicial institution whose objective is to apply and interpret the American Convention. The Inter-American Court exercises a contentious function, within which is the resolution of contentious cases and the mechanism for the supervision of sentences; an advisory role; and the function of issuing provisional measures. 

When was the IACHR created?

This International Court was created by the Organization of American States in 1959, jointly with the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, installed in 1979, is an institution of the Inter-American System for the Protection of Human Rights (SIDH).

The Inter-American System for the Protection of Human Rights began with the approval of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man in the Ninth American International Conference held in Colombia, in the city of Bogotá in 1948, within the framework of which the very OAS Charter, which proclaims the "fundamental rights of the human person" as one of the principles on which the Organization is founded.

Appears in various sections of the Charter, the principle of full Respect for human rights. Pursuant to that international instrument, "the genuine meaning of the american solidarity and good neighborliness cannot be other than to consolidate in this Continent, within the framework of the democratic institutions, a regimen of individual freedom and social justice, founded on respect for the essential rights of man". The Charter establishes the Commission as amain organ of the OAS, whose function is to promote the observance and defense of the human rights and serve as an advisory body to the OAS in said matter.

The IACHR It is based on three main axes that give it life:

1.- The Individual Petition System

2.- Monitoring the human rights situationin theMember states.

3.- Attention to priority thematic lines.

Thus, the Commission considers that in the context of the protection of the rights of everyone under the jurisdiction of the american states, it is essential to pay attention to populations, communities and groups that have historically been discriminated against. 

What is the history of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights?

As for its history, it begins in April 1948, at the time when the OAS approved the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man, in Bogotá, Colombia, the first international human rights document of a general nature. It is so the Inter-American Court was created in 1959, meeting for the first time in 1960.

In the year 1961 the IACHR began to perform on-site visits to observe the general situation of the human rights in a country, or to investigate a particular situation. Since then it has made 92 visits to 23 member countries. With regard to your general comments on the situation in one country, the IACHR public special reports, having published to date 60 of them.

It is since 1965 that, the IACHR was expressly authorized to receive and process complaints or petitions on individual cases in which it was alleged human rights violations. As of December 2011, it has received several tens of thousands of petitions, which have materialized in 19,423 cases processed or in process. The final reports published in relation to these cases can be found in the annual reports of the Commissionor by country.


During the year 1969 the  was approvedAmerican Convention on Human Rights, which entered into force in 1978 and has been ratified by dozens of countries such as: Argentina, Barbados, Brazil, Bolivia, Chili, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Surinlove, Uruguay and Venezuela. The Convention defines human rights that the ratifying States undertake internationally to respect and give guarantees so that they are respected in their respective jurisdictions. 

What regulations, legal body or international instrument governs the operation of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights? 

The organization, procedure and function of the Court are regulated in the american convention. Also, the Court It has a Statute and Regulations issued by the Court itself.

In that momento the most recent regulations and statutes of the Court entered into force

HeRegulationentered into force on January 1, 2010, while thestatuteentered into force in 1979. 

whatWhich is the integration of the Inter-American Court?

As the legal study  has been able to identify Wolfenson Lawyers, the Court is composed of seven Judges, nationals of OAS member states. The current composition of the Court is as follows, in order of precedence: 

Eduardo Ferrer Mac-Gregor Poisot (Mexico), President; Eduardo Vio Grossi (Chile), Vice President, Humberto Antonio Sierra Porto (Colombia), Elizabeth Odio Benito (Costa Rica), Eugenio Raúl Zaffaroni (Argentina), Patricio Pazmiño Freire (Ecuador) and Ricardo Pérez Manrique (Uruguay)._cc781905-5cde- 3194-bb3b-136bad5cf58d_

What is the secretariat of the Inter-American Court? 

The Secretariat is made up of a Secretary and an Assistant Secretary, who give legal and administrative support to the Court in its court work

In case of violation of human rights, the Wolfenson firm represents its clients in the filing of legal actions before the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

Links of interest about la Inter-American Court of Human Rights:

1.- Inter-American Court of Human Rights

2.- Judgments of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

3.- Organization of American States - IACHR

4.- Inter-American Human Rights System

Wolfenson Lawyers. Chilean Law Firm.

If you need more information and legal advice regarding actions before the IACHR, we invite you to contact our lawyers in Santiago. We are located at Av. El Golf 40, Floor 12, in the Las Condes commune, Santiago de Chile.

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