PETITIONS SYSTEM AND INDIVIDUAL CASES
This chapter deals with the work done by the Inter-American
Commission on Human Rights during 2002, and it concerns the system of
petitions and individual cases before both the Commission and the
Inter-American Court of Human Rights. This chapter, which was
incorporated by the Commission into its 1997 Annual Report at its 98th
regular session, covers the following: the precautionary measures that
the Commission granted and asked the member states of the Organization
to implement; its reports adopted in accordance with Article 51 of the
American Convention—or, in the case of those states not party to the
Convention, or Article 45(5) of the Commission’s Rules of Procedure
that came in force on that date—and which the Commission has decided
to publish; and its reports on cases declared admissible or inadmissible
under the terms of Articles 46 and 47 of the Convention and Article
37(1) of the Rules of Procedure. This chapter also describes the
activities of the Commission before the Inter-American Court of Human
Rights, vis-à-vis provisional measures, contentious cases, and
requests for advisory opinions.
Section B includes statistical tables on the information
contained in this chapter; section C.1 contains information on the
precautionary measures agreed on or extended by the IACHR.
In this regard, the Commission has continued its practice of
reporting on the precautionary measures sought from member states of the
Organization, either on its own initiative or at the request of a party,
pursuant to the provisions of Article 25 of its Rules of Procedure, in
those cases where such action was necessary to prevent irreparable harm
to persons. The
precautionary measures are presented in alphabetical order according to
the names of the states to which the request was submitted; the listings
also indicate the name of the person or persons on whose behalf the
request was made, a summary of the information on which the request was
grounded, the rights of the persons exposed to grave and imminent
danger, the number of the case, if any, and, finally, the date of the
request and the name of the state in question.
Section C2 details its reports on petitions and cases.
Section C.2 includes all the petitions and cases processed and
resolved by the Commission during the time covered by this report.
It contains a total of 58 reports: 38 cases that were declared
admissible; 6 reports on petitions that were deemed inadmissible; 3
friendly settlement reports; and 11 reports on merits.
In accordance with Article 46 of the IACHR’s Rules of
Procedure, section D includes an analysis relative to compliance by
States with the recommendations contained in reports on individual cases
published in the Annual Reports for 2000, 2001 and 2002.
Section E deals with the individual petitions and cases taken by
the Commission to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
It lists the provisional measures ordered by the Court at the
Commission’s request in cases of extreme gravity and urgency, pursuant
to the provisions of Article 63(2) of the American Convention on Human
Rights; a summary of a number of Court judgments; and the actions taken
by the Commission in several contentious cases. The provisional measures
are also listed in the order of their presentation; they include the
name of the person or persons on whose behalf they were requested, a
summary of the facts of the case and of the rights at stake, the date of
the request, the name of the state in question, and the date on which
the Court adopted the relevant decision.
Over 2002, the Commission received 4656 complaints alleging
violations of human rights protected in the American Declaration of the
Rights and Duties of Man and the American Convention on Human Rights; it
also instituted 83 petitions during the period covered by this report,
giving a total of 973 individual cases and petitions that underwent
processing in the year 2002.
This chapter of the 2002 Annual Report contains statistical
information to provide a general overview of the different activities
carried out by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.
8. First it presents data concerning the cases and petitions being processed. These comprise the greater volume of the Commission's work. “Cases” is taken as meaning all those petitions declared admissible by means of a report on admissibility. “Petitions” is taken as meaning all those complaints that have been forwarded to the state involved but in which no report on admissibility has been issued. Note that the Inter-American Commission’s former practice—whereby a case was declared open when the petition, prima facie, was judged to meet the requirements for processing—was changed when the new Rules of Procedure of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights came into force on May 1, 2001. Articles 26 to 30 of the new Rules of Procedure govern the procedure applicable to the initial processing of petitions and to the declaration of admissibility following which a petition is deemed to have become a case.