The InterAmerican Court of Human Rights: A supra constitutional tribunal and agent of transformation?

Seminar with Natalia Torres Zuniga, taking a critical view on the alleged transformative and democratic effect of a court that might rather facilitate the continuation of structural inequalities.

Three indigenous persons and the symbol of the he InterAmerican Court of Human Rights

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In her presentation, Natalia Torres Zuniga will offer a critical analysis of a legal discourse driven by Latin American constitutional lawyers that portray the Inter American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) as a supranational tribunal whose last say on human rights protection has a transformative effect on Latin America’s democracies. She demonstrates how that image is a strategy through which legal experts self-validate by making themselves the principal agents of transformation and downgrading laypeople to passive subjects in need of institutional aid.

Further, Natalia Torres Zuniga will show how profiling the IACtHR as an agent of transformation diverts attention from the ways in which it has pursued a particular view of equality and human rights in cases related to investment projects, expropriation, and exploitation of natural resources. She aims to demonstrate that rather than transformative, the case-law of the IACtHR may facilitate maintaining structural inequalities that stem from the nature of business models based on the exploitation of natural resources and renewable energy.


Image may contain: Woman, Hair, Face, Eyebrow, Chin.Natalia Torres Zuniga is a researcher at the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights at the University of Oslo. The contents of this seminar show some of the outcomes of her doctoral dissertation on the legitimacy of the IACtHR (2019). 





Published Jan. 31, 2020 1:28 PM - Last modified Jan. 31, 2020 1:32 PM