Inter-American Commission on Human Rights-Functions and Responsibilities
The Second special Inter-American conference authorities the commission in 1965 to receive and act on individual petition charging with
OAS members with violation of some rights of American Declaration. The Article 9 is applied with various rights: right to life, liberty and security of person, equality before law, freedom of religion, freedom of expression, freedom from arbitrary arrest, right to due process to law. Article 9 authorized the commission to establishment of limited individual petition system.
The Inter-American convention to which amended OAS charter referred was adopted in 1969 and entered into force in 1978, whereas amendment to OAS were drafted in 1967. The two distinct functions are spelled out on Article 41 of American convention.
It codifies commission pre-existing functions as an OAS organs and mandate it “to take action on petition and other communication pursuant to the authority” under article 44-51 of convention. The convention empowered the commission to deal with individual petition and interstate communication.
The admissibility of petition is conditional, on exhaustion of domestic remedies, in accordance with generally recognized principle of international law. There is a requirement that the petition be submitted to commission within period of sex month from date on which the victim of alleged violation was notified of final domestic judgments’ in the case.
When a complaint is admissible, the commission examines the allegations seek information from government concerned and investigate facts. The commission also holds hearing in which government and petitioner participate.
The commission country study is investigation of the human rights conditions of state. It initiates the such study when it receives individual communication, often from non-governmental organization, engaging in human rights violation. The investigation is usually arranges by exchange of letter and cables between the chairman of commissioner and government concerned.
The commission request permission to visit particular community by some government has extended invitation for such visit of their own initiative. Article 58 of the Regulation of commission requires the host government to put at disposal of commission all facilities necessary for the accomplishment of its mission and to pledge that it will impose no punitive measures against individuals who co-operate with commission.
The me fibers of the commission have right to travel freely in host country, to meet with any individual whatsoever and to visit prison as provided in Article 59 of the rule. The commission prepares a draft report. That document examines the conditions in country by reference to the human rights standard set out in American declaration of right and duties of man.
The report is submitted to the government concerned and government response is analyzed by the commission and after analyzing the commission decides whether to publish report. As Article 62 provides” The Regulation of commission requires the publication of report if the government does not respond to request for observation”. In publishing the report, OAS General Assembly has some power.
The commission may also transmit it to general assembly. Because debate in the assembly attract considerable public attention, reference to and discussion by the assembly of country report, followed by appropriate resolution, can have a significant impact on behavior of government that has been charged by commission with of government that has been charged by commission with human rights violation.
The OAS General assembly thought not legally binding, but are act as highest political organ of the organization and government is also tend to take these consideration into accounts before they decide how to react to recommendations made by commission in it country studies.
The prestige and credibility of commission are the main source of effectiveness of commission. It guaranteed the enforcement of human rights. All the members of OAS are represented by freely elected government; the assembly also strongly supports the commission.
The recommendation of commission based on country report. Apart from the drafting of report, on-site investigation, are now undertaken by so called “special commission” of the commission Article also ensures members of commission, who are national of or reside in a country in which the investigation is to carried out, shall be ineligible to serve on the “special commission”.
Article 20, allows the commission to receive and act on individual petition charging the violation of any rights enumerated in the Declaration. The convention empowers the commission to deal with individual petition and inter-state communication (Articles 44 and 45). Article 44 also state “By becoming the party to convention, a state is deemed to have accepted the jurisdiction of commission to examine private complaints lodged against that state.
The article 45, also state that commission deals with interstate complaints have also recognized the inter-state jurisdiction of commission. Article 46(1) of commission state the admissibility of petition is conditioned, on (a) exhaustion of domestic remedies in accordance with generally recognized principle of international Law and (b) requirement that petition be submitted to the commission within period of six month from the date on which the victim of the alleged violation was notified of the final domestic judgments’ in his case. Article 46(2) state that “These requirement do not prevent admissibility of a petition however it shows to domestic remedies (2) the domestic remedies have been subjected to unwarranted delay (3) there exist no domestic remedies to protection of their rights.
Article 47 (b and c) state that “the complaint will also be held to be inadmissible if it does not state prima facie case under convention manifestly groundless and obviously out of order”. Article 47 (d) requires the commission to reject a petition that is substantially the same one previously studied by commission by other international organization”, Article 48(b) the commission examines the allegation, seeks information’s from government concerned and investigates the facts.
As part; of process, the commission may hold hearing in which the government and petitioner participate. It also make place itself disposal of parties concerned with view to reaching friendly settlement of matters on the basis of human rights recognized Article 48. If a friendly settlement is obtained, the commission prepare report that described by fact of the case and settlement.
Article 50 “If the parties are unable to reach a friendly settlement, the commission draws up a report setting out the fact and the conclusion it has reached about case”. In dealing with a case that has not been taken to court or settled by parties, “the commission may by the vote ob absolute majority of its members, set forth its opinion and conclusion concerning the question submitted for its consideration.”
Article 51(1) and Article 51(2) and state. If it has concluded that the convention was violated, the commission must set it “recommendation” and prescribe a period within which the state is to take measures that are incumbent upon it to remedy the situation examined. Article 51(3) once this period has expired it shall decide by a vote of an absolute majority of its members whether the state has adequate measures and whether to publish its report”.