International courts (ICs) with human rights mandates have recently faced instances of backlash, aiming to curb their authority. But human rights ICs continue to function with their competences largely intact. A crucial source of IC resilience is embeddedness in domestic institutions and actors. Taking cues from research on the functioning of ICs, we argue that ICs will be resilient – able to maintain their competences and authority in the face of backlash – to the extent that they are embedded in domestic "legal complexes." Our framework identifies key sites of embeddedness and stresses the importance of synergies between them: 1) incorporation of treaties into domestic law; 2) independent courts; 3) acceptance and use of IC jurisprudence by domestic judiciaries; 4) strong national human rights institutions; 5) incorporation of international law into legal training and research; and 6) presence of NGOs that rely on ICs. Empirically, the paper explores resilience in the Inter-American System of Human Rights. First, we discuss and map the state of each source of resilience across Latin America. Second, we show how the activation of sources of resilience helped preserve the integrity of Inter-American rights institutions during backlash orchestrated by several countries between 2011 and 2014.
Thursday, April 1, 2021
Gonzalez Ocantos & Sandholtz: International Human Rights Courts and Sources of Resilience: The Case of the Inter-American System
Ezequiel Gonzalez Ocantos (Univ. of Oxford - Politics and International Relations) & Wayne Sandholtz (Univ. of Southern California - International Relations) have posted International Human Rights Courts and Sources of Resilience: The Case of the Inter-American System. Here's the abstract: