Is there a Human Right to Indefinitely Run for Reelection?

The Inter-American Court must decide whether the misuse of the conventionality control circumvents the power of the constitutional bodies

Daniel Cerqueira*

Versión en español aquí.

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In the next few months, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (I/A Court) shall issue an advisory opinion in order to clarify whether presidential reelection is a right arising from the American Convention on Human Rights and, if so, whether it can be restricted. This article addresses one of the aspects which will probably be elaborated upon in said opinion, that is to say the inadequate use of the conventionality control with a view to modifying, by means of a judicial decision, constitutional provisions whose scope should only be scrutinized by mechanisms of constitutional creation or reform under the rule of law.

Until the beginning of this century, the judicial activity of courts in Latin America with regard to controversies related to the regulation of presidential elections were limited to the adjudication of formal requirements of the legislative process. In exceptional cases, national courts were called upon to determine the date of entry into force of constitutional reforms or new Constitutions which introduced the possibility of presidential reelections.

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