The Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, on November 20, 1999, in San José, Costa Rica, carried out a joint meeting in the ambit of the celebration of important anniversaries of the Inter-American System of the Protection of Human Rights: the twentieth anniversary of the installation of the Court, the thirtieth anniversary of the adoption of the American Convention on Human Rights, and the fortieth anniversary of the creation of the Commission. This meeting marked itself at a time in which a high degree of consensus on the legitimacy of the actions of the Systems organs has been achieved, in favor of human rights on the American continent. In this meeting the following points of the agenda, among others, were discussed:
1. Compliance with the judgments of the Court.
2. Strengthening of the Inter-American System of Protection.
3. Coordination between the organs of the System.
4. Facilitation of their proceedings (admissibility of cases, determination of the facts, evidence).
With respect to the first two points, both the Court and the Commission emphasized the importance of the duty of State Parties to comply with the decisions of the two supervisory organs, in accord with the obligations under the Convention which the State Parties freely taken on (pacta sunt servanda). They had positive regard to the commitment of the States in the hemisphere with respect to the compliance with the decisions of both organs, in particular the judgments of the Court, which until recently have been faithfully complied with. They concluded, to this effect, that the effective protection of human rights in this hemisphere depends on the faithful compliance with these decisions.
Moreover, the two supervisory organs highlighted the recent registration of advancements in the System, especially the recent acceptance of the contentious jurisdiction of the Court by Brazil, Haiti, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic, as well as the entry into force, this week, of the Additional Protocol to the American Convention on Human Rights on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (Protocol of San Salvador), which unequivocally demonstrates the recognition of the inter-relation and indivisibility of all human rights. Likewise, they highlighted the great importance the people of the region attribute to the rule of law, democracy, and the prevalence of human rights.
The Inter-American Court and Commission saluted the initiative of the President of the Republic of Costa Rica to convoke the official celebratory acts of the Systems anniversaries. The two organs declared their confidence in the fruitful joint meeting held at the seat of the Court.
The composition of the two organs in this joint meeting was the following:
For the Inter-American Court of Human Rights Judge Antônio A. Cançado Trindade (President), Máximo Pacheco-Gómez (Vicepresident), Hérnan Salgado-Pesantes (Judge), Oliver Jackman (Judge), Alirio Abreu-Burelli (Judge), Carlos Vicente de Roux-Rengifo (Judge), Manuel E. Ventura-Robles, Secretary, and Renzo Pomi, Deputy Secretary.
For the Inter-American Commission of Human Rights Robert Kogod Goldman (President), Hélio Bicudo (First Vicepresident), Claudio Grossman (Second Vicepresident), Carlos Ayala-Corao (Commissioner), Jean-Joseph Exumé (Commissioner), Alvaro Tirado-Mejía (Commissioner), Jorge E. Taiana (Executive Secretary), and David Padilla (Deputy Executive Secretary).
San José, November 20, 1999.
(*) The contents of this release are the responsibility of the Secretariat of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. The official text of the documents may be obtained by submitting a written request to the Secretariat at the address provided at the end of this document.