Examining the Evolving Steering Role of NGOs on the case law of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

01 October 2023 → 30 September 2025
European funding: framework programme
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • Human rights law
human rights
Other information
Project description

Through litigation strategies and third-party interventions, non-governmental (NGOs) set the normative agenda of, and thereby constantly (re)shape, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR). Yet most studies on the evolving jurisprudence of the Inter-American Human Rights System (IAS) relating to environmental matters primarily centre on the interpretative innovations made by its judiciary.
NGOsteerIACtHR develops and applies an analytically and empirically grounded framework to examine the influence of NGOs’ agenda-setting power on the IACtHR’s case law, in which environmental protection serves the interests of human rights. Whilst generating up-to-data knowledge on the role of NGOs within the IAS, this projects differs from the state-of-the-art by illustrating to what extent the evolving human rights and environment agenda of NGOs is behind the evolving IACtHR’s jurisprudence on the subject. To this end, it will combine doctrinal and content analysis of selected contentious cases (involving indigenous groups, environmental defenders and the right to a healthy environment) and the Advisory Opinion No. 23 on Human Rights and the Environment.
As children are now getting involved in litigation before the IAS (Soleil v Haiti), NGOsteerIACtHR will provide a better understanding of how and to what extent the human rights and environmental agenda can be incorporated throughout the written and oral phases of contentious cases. Besides, considering that the IACtHR may employ its advisory proceedings to influence state behaviour and address questions that are likely to arise before its contentious jurisdiction, it will offer clear insights into the role (implicitly) played by NGOs in shaping the normative countours of the Advisory Opinion No. 23 and state conduct alike.

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Executive Agency (REA). Neither the European Union nor the authority can be held responsible for them.