Merits Reports

The merits stage is where the IACHR must decide on the merits or substance of the matter, that is, whether or not there were violations of human rights in the case being analyzed. The procedure on the merits is regulated in Articles 48 and 50 of the American Convention on Human Rights and Articles 37, 38, 39, 43, and 44 of the Commission’s Rules of Procedure. The merits stage ends with the approval of a Merits Report, which contains the conclusions about whether the facts of the case constitute human rights violations. If it is found that there were human rights violations, the Merits Report includes recommendations to the State.

Merits Reports approved are not published immediately. When a Merits Report is approved, in accordance with Article 50 of the American Convention on Human Rights, it is confidential, and the Commission notifies only the parties (the State and the petitioner). Merits Reports that have been approved can be published later if the Commission so decides, pursuant to Article 51(3) of the American Convention on Human Rights. If the Commission decides to send a case to the Inter-American Court, the Merits Report on that case will be published on the IACHR website, under Cases in the Court..

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