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The American Convention on Human Rights: Essential Rights

Thomas M. Antkowiak, Alejandra Gonza


This book offers a thorough and critical analysis of essential rights of the American Convention on Human Rights: the rights to equality, life, humane treatment, personal liberty, property, due process, and judicial protection, as well as the freedom of expression and reparations. To do so, it closely reviews the jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the two institutions charged with interpreting the Convention, emphasizing the Court's binding decisions. The book examines this case law with a victim-centered lens—identifying key jurisprudential developments, discussing critical areas that lack consistency and rigor, and proposing alternative conceptual approaches. Each chapter generally consists of the following: (1) an Introduction to compare the American Convention right’s formulation with equivalent rights in other major international and regional treaties; (2) a Background section to consider the right’s negotiation history; (3) a Scope of Protection section to analyze the right’s provisions, paragraph by paragraph or topic by topic; and (4) a Limitations section, if applicable, to study any limitations to the right. The specific rights examined in the book were chosen because they have been the most developed by the Court and Commission. Also noteworthy, the book’s Introduction presents an up-to-date overview of the dynamic Inter-American System, outlining the System’s legal instruments, major institutions, significant impact, and key developments.

Bibliographic Information

Thomas M. Antkowiak, author

Alejandra Gonza, author

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