International Human Rights Clinic

This guide is for students in the International Human Rights Clinic.

Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights , created in 1959 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., promotes and protects human rights in the Americas. The website of the IACHR, under the heading Cases, links to an informational brochure about human rights in the Inter-American system and to forms and instructions for filing a petition alleging human rights violations.

Decisions on Admissibility / Informes de Admisibilidad and on the Merits / Informes de Fondo can be found on the website, in English and in Spanish.

The Rules of Procedure of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (2013) are available at the Commission website.

The Mabie Law Library collection includes some books about the Inter-American system. ​

Inter-American Court of Human Rights

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights was  begun in 1979 to interpret and enforce the American Convention. The court decides cases referred to it and produces advisory opinions when requested by the OAS and/or member states. The Jurisprudence of the court also includes provisional measures and monitoring compliance with court judgments (click on the Jurisprudence tab, near the top of the page or on Cases in Supervision Stage near the bottom). The website of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights is available in English and Spanish. However, the Spanish language website is more complete; not all of the information there has been translated into English.

The Mabie Law Library contains some books on the Inter-American Court. 

Decisions of the Inter-American Court

Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
Serie C--Resoluciones y sentencias / Organizacion de los Estados Americanos, Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos = Series C--Decisions and judgments / Organization of American States, Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
San Jose, Costa Rica : Secretaria de la Corte, 1987-
Stanford has vols 1-78 and 83
SJSU has vols. 6-8 (1989)
SFSU has vols. 1-8 (1987-1989)
UC Berkeley has vols. 1-3 (1987)

Books on the Inter-American System

OSCAR subject searches

  • Inter-American Court of Human Rights
  • Inter-American Commission on Human Rights
  • Human Rights -- America

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights : case law and commentaryBurgorgue-Larsen (2011)

The Inter-American System for the Protection of Human Rights, Faundez Ledesma (2008)

Basic documents pertaining to human rights in the Inter-American system (updated to 2007)

La Convencion Americana: Vida, Integridad Personal, Libertad Personal, Debido Proceso Y Recurso Judicial, Cecilia Medina Quiroga (2005, readable online)

The Inter-American Yearbook on Human Rights (1980s - 2012)

La Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, Un Cuarto de Siglo: 1979 - 2004

The Inter-American System of Human Rights, Harris and Livingstone (1998)

Human Rights: The Inter-American System, vols. 1-6 (1982-1993)

The Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Davidson (1992)

The Inter-American System: Treaties, Conventions & Other Documents (1983)

Practice and procedure of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, Pasqualucci
NB: this was published before the current rules of procedure

Note: Mabie materials on the Inter-American system are classified KDZ and found in Compact Shelving.

Note also: You may use the same subject searches in the Berkeley and Stanford library catalogs. Berkeley's law library is open to the public; ask a law librarian for access to Stanford's Law Library.

Searching for Journal Articles

There are several places to look for journal literature on international human rights topics. Full-text databases include:

Bibliographic databases include:

Bibliographic databases provide a citation. Use the Journal Finder, on the law library homepage, to determine whether Santa Clara has a print or electronic subscription to the journal in which the article appears.

See the Mabie Law Library webpage for links to additional indices and legal databases.

Research Guides on the Inter-American System

New York University
International Human Rights
Inter-American Commission and Court tab

UPDATE: Inter-American System of Human Rights: a research guide

University of Ottawa
Inter-American Human Rights System

University of Texas, Tarlton Law Library
The Inter-American System

Wilson, Richard J. "Researching the Jurisprudence of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights: A Litigator's Perspective." American University International Law Review 10, no. 1 (1996): 1-17.

International Justice Research Center (

Web Sites with Information about the Inter-American Human Rights System

University of Minnesota Human Rights Library, Inter-American Court of Human Rights

The Inter-American Human Rights Database, from Washington College of Law, American University, contains documents since the Commission's 1st session, in 1960, including Annual Reports, Reports on Sessions, and Special Reports.

Heafey Law Library Research Team