On Sunday 10 April, the Inter-American Human Rights Network (IAHRN), together with the Center for Justice and International Law (CEJIL), held a discussion forum in Washington which brought scholars together with practitioners and officials at the Inter-American Human Rights System. The event constituted the culmination of a two-year project of the IAHRN funded by the Leverhulme Trust.
Since 2014, the IAHRN has regularly met to share research into the development, impact and future of the IAHRS, from a variety of academic disciplines, including law, political science, history, and sociology. The Discussion Forum presented the findings of research conducted by members of the Network and generated discussions about what a future multi-disciplinary research agenda on the Inter-American System should look like.
The Forum took place at the time of the sessions of the Inter-American Commission in April 2016 (the 157th period of sessions is scheduled for 2-15 April 2016). The discussions were structured around a Reflective Report prepared and circulated in advance by the Network.
The Report outlines a number of particularly salient issues for the IAHRS that have been identified and extensively discussed during the course of the Network’s activities under the following three core themes: impact, the law and politics of institutional change, and cross-regional perspectives on human rights systems. The discussions offered an important opportunity to identify specific priority areas for future scholarly research, and for practitioners and IAHRS officials to provide feedback on issues that require particularly urgent scholarly attention.
The Inter-American Human Rights Network
The membership of the IAHRN comprises scholars of the Inter-American system who have been brought together with a shared objective to generate interdisciplinary collaborative research on the IAHRS to complement existing legal scholarship on the system. Since its creation in 2014, the Network has sought to make research conducted by its members publicly available through summary reports and scholarly publications. The Network has also collected and systematised data on IAHRS activities, and built institutional and interdisciplinary links between scholarly communities within the Americas, and between different world regions.
This event coincides with the 25th anniversary of CEJIL. The Forum offered an important opportunity, therefore, to reflect on the history of CEJIL’s work with the IAHRS, as well as future directions of human rights advocacy in the Americas