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Joint Report from Human Rights Courts

Being the only three regional courts that regularly produce case law and set standards about human rights, the African Court of Human and Peoples' Rights (ACtHPR), the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR), and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) published a joint report on their activities in 2019.

In the pages allocated to the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (ACHPR) and the ACtHPR case law, the most important judgments regard the right to life (ACHPR art.4), the right to legal personality (ACHPR art.5), the right to be tried by an impartial tribunal (ACHPR art.7[1]{d}), freedom of movement (ACHPR art.12) and the right to political participation (ACHPR art.13). In one of the most significant passages of these pages, the African Court includes the non bis in idem principle within the scope of the ACHPR through its interpretation although the principle is not literally in the Charter’s text.

When it comes to European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and the developments in the case-law of the ECtHR, the report contains judgments about application of the six-month period rule (ECHR art.35), the right to life (ECHR art.2), the prohibition of torture and inhuman/degrading treatment (ECHR art.3), the right to freedom and security (ECHR art.5) the right to a fair trial (ECHR art.6), no unlawful punishment (ECHR art.7), the non bis in idem principle (Additional Protocol 7, art.4), the right to effective application (ECHR art.13) and the right to respect the privacy of private life (ECHR art.8). At the end of the report, there are important lines that clarify the binding force of the Convention, just satisfaction and the advisory opinion procedure which was introduced into the system with the Additional Protocol No 16. The ECHR's advisory opinion, which was drawn up upon the request of the French appellate authority, concerns surrogacy and stands out both because it is the first advisory opinion of the Court and it includes inspiring passages about surrogacy, which is one of the most problematic topics in the field where human rights and health law coincide.

The last part of the report is devoted to the case law of the IACtHR and the American Convention on Human Rights (ACHR) where the important judgments about the right to juridical personality (ACHR art.3), the right to life (ACHR art.4), the right to humane treatment (ACHR art.5), the right to personal liberty (ACHR art.7), the right to a fair trial (ACHR art.8), freedom of thought and expression (ACHR art.13), the right to property (ACHR art.21) and economic, social, cultural and environmental rights (ACHR art.26) are summarised. Among them, the case of Hernández v. Argentina attracts notice in that the IACtHR takes into account almost all human rights conventions that exist in the international arena together with the provisions of the ACHR while determining the content of the right to health. Furthermore, the Court categorises the substance of the right to health and the standards to be achieved within four distinct headings: Availability, accessibility, acceptability and quality. In the end of the said judgment, it is emphasised that although the right to health is a progressive right in nature, its certain aspects have to be enforced immediately.


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