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Pritzker Legal Research Center

International Human Rights Law Research


The Organization of American States (OAS) is a regional organization consisting of 35 member states across the Americas. 

American Convention on Human Rights

The American Convention on Human Rights was adopted on 22 November 1969 and entered into force on 18 July 1978. This is the core regional human rights treaty between the members of the OAS. 

Other OAS Treaties


Commentaries provide article-by-article analysis of treaties and include citations to relevant jurisprudence, preparatory works, and other documents. The following commentaries are available electronically through Oxford Scholarly Authorities on International Law. The complete list of titles included in this collection is available here

You can find additional commentaries by searching on NUsearch, our library catalog, for keywords such as [name of treaty] + commentary (example: American Convention on Human Rights commentary). 


The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and Inter-American Court of Human Rights monitor human rights in the Americas. The Inter-American Commission examines petitions alleging violations of the human rights guaranteed in the American Declaration on the Rights and Duties of Man, the American Convention on Human Rights, and other-inter-American human rights treaties. The Inter-American Court interprets and applies the American Convention and other inter-American human rights treaties.

To find jurisprudence from the Inter-American human rights system: 

Step 1: Consult a commentary or other secondary sources to identify citations to relevant cases and decisions. See above for suggestions on how to find commentaries and the Secondary Sources page of this guide for guidance on how to find additional secondary sources. 

Step 2: Use the subscription and/or free resources suggested below to search for or retrieve cases. Note that resources differ in scope of coverage, when they were last updated, and search capabilities. Note that recent judgments are often only available in Spanish. 

Thematic Rapporteurships and Units

The Inter-American Commission has created thematic rapporteurships to strengthen work on specific human rights issues (e.g., freedom of expression, racial discrimination) and devote attention to certain groups at risk of human rights violations (e.g., indigenous peoples, women, migrants).