MVV227K The Inter-American System of Human Rights: Law, Functioning and Compliance

Faculty of Law
Spring 2017
Extent and Intensity
0/1/0. 5 credit(s). Type of Completion: k (colloquium).
José Casado (lecturer), doc. JUDr. Ing. Michal Radvan, Ph.D. (deputy)
doc. JUDr. Ing. Michal Radvan, Ph.D.
Faculty of Law
Contact Person: Mgr. Věra Redrupová, B.A.
Supplier department: Faculty of Law
Timetable of Seminar Groups
MVV227K/01: Tue 18. 4. 11:10–12:40 025, Wed 19. 4. 16:40–18:10 025, Thu 20. 4. 16:40–18:10 025, Mon 24. 4. 8:00–9:30 025, Tue 25. 4. 8:00–9:30 025, Wed 26. 4. 8:00–9:30 025
Course Enrolment Limitations
The course is only offered to the students of the study fields the course is directly associated with.

The capacity limit for the course is 30 student(s).
Current registration and enrolment status: enrolled: 20/30, only registered: 0/30
Fields of study the course is directly associated with
there are 37 fields of study the course is directly associated with, display
Course objectives
Once completed, students should be able to:
1) understand the legal and institutional structure of the system, as well as its regular functioning—practice and procedure;
2) work with the main areas of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (I/A Court)’ case-law;
3) develop assessments based on acquired knowledge of the compliance rates of the I/A Court’s decisions by member states;
4) learn about how the Inter-American human rights legal standards have been applied in the Dominican constitutional order, as well as the institutional clashes that these systemic interactions have generated;
5) compare the Inter-American and European systems of human rights, as well as the Czech and Dominican constitutional adjudication processes.
  • Day 1: Course introduction. Origins, structure and functioning.
  • Day 2: An overview of the individual complaint/precautionary measures procedures.
  • Day 3: Main features of the I/A Court’s case law: forced disappearances, indigenous peoples’ rights, and freedom of expression
  • Day 4: New trends of the I/A Court’s case law: environmental protection, LGBTQ + women rights, in vitro fertilization.
  • Day 5: Rates of compliance of the I/A Court’s decisions: état de l’art, controversies, and the Dominican case study.
  • Day 6: Future of the I/A System of Human Rights. Concluding remarks.
  • See Teacher’s Information for full details
Teaching methods
lectures, discussion
Assessment methods
The final grade will be calculated as follows: i) a reaction paper accounted for sixty five percent (65%) of your grade; and ii) class participation equivalent to the remaining thirty five percent (35%).
Language of instruction
Further comments (probably available only v češtině)
The course is taught only once.
Teacher's information
This course introduces students to the theory and practice of adjudication before the Inter-American System for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights. It will also give students an overview of how the Inter-American legal standards are applied in one of its member states, namely the Dominican Republic, through the control de la convencionalidad—treaty compliance test.

Course materials

The reading materials, mostly comprised by international conventions, case-law excerpts, and scholars’ papers, will be posted online via IS MU. Each reading will have “guiding questions”, which will mark the main objective of each session. Please read and think about these questions as they will help you make the most of the academic/legal content assigned, as well as every session.

It is recommended that you review the following materials:

-Pasqualucci, Jo M., “The Practice and Procedure of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights”. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, Second edition, 2014.

-Basic documents in the Inter-American system. This online compilation of legal instruments and their status of ratification can be accessed in

-I/A Commission on Human Rights’ website:

-I/A Court of Human Rights’ website:

-Dominican constitution, as amended on 26 January 2010:

Course requirements and evaluation

I. Reaction papers.

Two principles will inform the way reaction papers will be assessed: 1) Less is more; and 2) Show me the issue, then develop your argument(s).

In this manner, a great reaction paper will be as follows: A) 3-5 pages-long, double-spaced; B) (Part I): Brief introduction indicating the issue/question, (Part II): argument(s), and (Part III): concluding remarks; C) Citations are required. Please do not interpret this last point as indicating that you should do extensive research. Just keep in mind that I will appreciate the precise disclosure of the academic sources that inform your main argument(s).

Reaction papers may take one of the following two approaches:

Approach No. 1

(i) Identify a point made in a reading assigned with which you disagree.

(ii) Explain your objection, and present your recommendations.

Approach No. 2

(i) State a point that you think has legal relevance, but that is not fully developed in the cases discussed or in the literature assigned.

(ii) Explain the reasons why you think this issue is important to the system’s operation and/or the protection of human rights.

(iii) Indicate how it should have been decided—if you are referring to a contentious case, or what elements are lacking and/or how the elements analyzed should be presented—if you are alluding to one of the readings.

(iv) Concluding remarks and, if applicable, recommendations.

Comparative reasoning and opinions about the law, functioning and compliance rates of the Inter-American and the European System of Human Rights are highly encouraged both during the class and as the main topic of your reactions papers. Comparative analysis can also focus on the constitutional adjudication practices of both the Czech and Dominican States, particularly in regard to the application of the relevant regional human rights standards.

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