Latin America and the International Court of Justice

These days I am writing a chapter for a book that Jean-Marc Sorel (U Paris I) and Paula Wojcikiewicz Almeida (Escola de Dereito, Rio de Janeiro) are putting together on contributions to international law of Latin American states through litigation before the ICJ. My chapter is on Mexico, and, specifically, on the infamous Avena case. I guess it takes an unorthodox American to write a balanced assessment of that case!

Right to Participate in the Conduct of Public Affairs (ICCPR Art. 25)

Today my Int Human Rights Clinic filed a new communication for the Human Rights Committee accusing Italy of violation of the right to participate in the conduct of public affairs, specifically art. 25(a) and (b) of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

2011_Italian_referendumsWhile most of Art. 25 cases usually deal with the right of this or that person or party to run in elections (representative democracy), this is one of the few, to my knowledge, that focuses instead on direct democracy, that is to say the right to participate in the conduct of public affairs directly, through referenda and popular initiatives.