Inter-American Commission Launches Online System for Requesting Meetings and Hearings, As New Rules of Procedure Take Effect

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) has unveiled a new, online system through which victims and advocates will now be able to request working meetings and hearings related to pending petitions, as well as thematic hearings. Previously, the Commission received such requests by letter or email; going forward, the new online system will be the exclusive method for requesting hearings and working meetings.

In an announcement sent out via email, the IACHR stated:

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is pleased to inform about the launching of a new automatized system to request hearings and working meetings, which as of today is the only means of making such requests. The goal of this new digital system is to facilitate and streamline processes, to the benefit of all involved parties.

The Commission appreciates the cooperation and support of all users in the current process of modernization and digitalization of our systems.

The new system is available in the four OAS official languages, in the following links: English ׀ Spanish ׀ French ׀ Portuguese

Those requesting a meeting or hearing are asked to supply information regarding: the case / precautionary measures file number or general subject area, the State concerned, the objective of the hearing or meeting (25-word limit), the basis for the request (75-word limit), and any supporting documentation (up to two separate files). The online form also provides a space for additional observations and requires requesting parties to provide their contact information.

The deadline for requesting a working meeting or hearing is generally approximately two months before the Commission meets in session. For the 149th Period of Sessions, which will take place from October 24 to November 8, 2013, the request deadline is August 23, 2013.

As of August 1, 2013, the IACHR’s new Rules of Procedure entered into effect. [IACHR] The new Rules, adopted by the Commission in March amidst a State-led reform process, modify some of the formal requirements related to the IACHR’s processing of petitions and requests for precautionary measures, as well as its internal procedures, reporting, and balance between promotion and protection activities.

For additional information on the Inter-American Commission and its mandate, see IJRC’s animated video, manual, and other materials on the Inter-American page.

Finally, it should be noted that earlier this year, the IACHR adopted a new telephone number: +1 (202) 370-9000.