A lack of financial resources can be a major hindrance to recourse to national and international rights mechanisms. Despite the obvious need for legal aid of many applicants, no issue divided international tribunals in their early jurisprudence as much as the issue of awards of costs and attorneys’ fees. The European Court of Human Rights began by nearly always awarding all or part of them to successful applicants, while the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, until 1998, granted local costs but did not award attorneys’ fees for proceedings before it or the...
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