Stockholders’ Human Rights Insufficiently Protected by the IACHR

Arturo C. Porzecanski*

Versión en español aquí.

The principle that a state incurs international responsibility when it expropriates the property of foreign investors without adequate compensation is well established in international law. Provisions relating to the protection of property abroad may be found in international agreements dating back to the late 19thcentury; but in the wake of the conclusion of thousands of bilateral and regional investment and trade agreements during the 1990s and early 2000s, by now provisions relating to the protection of cross-border investments are commonplace in most countries around the globe.

Far less has been established, however, about the international responsibility that a state may incur when it decides to expropriate without due compensation the property of its citizens. Except for domestic investors in Europe, virtually all others around the globe have been restricted to whatever remedies may be available under the local laws of their respective states. In the case of Europe, the European Convention on Human Rights (entered into force in 1953) provided that “every natural or legal person is entitled to the peaceful enjoyment of his possessions,” the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights (2012) conditioned any deprivation on “fair compensation being paid in good time”, and the European Court of Human Rights has put teeth on those clauses through its landmark rulings.

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The Right to Social Protest and the Inter-American Standards

Edison Lanza*

Versión en español aquí.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not only affected human health and life in the region. In many countries, State restrictions in response to the pandemic focused on curtailing the freedoms of expression and association, public assembly, and other central tenets of democracy. While some emergency measures may be legitimate under the American Convention as a means of dealing with this calamity, others were clearly abusive and aimed at blunting or preventing renewed cycles of protest. These restrictions came at a particularly turbulent time in the region, with citizens’ movements taking to the streets over the past two years to raise their voices against structural inequality or corruption, or to defend democracy itself.

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