The Access of Individuals to International Justice

ISBN : 9780199580965

Antonio Augusto Cancado Trindade
272 Pages
164 x 233 mm
Pub date
Aug 2011
Collected Courses of the Academy of European Law
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This book contends that the right of access to justice (at national and international levels) constitutes a basic cornerstone of the international protection of human rights, and conforms a true right to the Law. It amounts, lato sensu, to the right to the realization of justice. In such understanding, it comprises not only the formal access to a tribunal or judge, but also respect for the guarantees of due process of law, the right to a fair trial, and to reparations (whenever they are due), and the faithful execution of judgments. On its part, the right to an effective domestic remedy is a basic pillar of the rule of law in a democratic society. In its part, the right of international individual petition, together with the safeguard of the integrity of international jurisdiction, constitute the basic foundations of the emancipation of the individual vis-a-vis his own State. This is a domain that has undergone a remarkable development in recent years. It is submitted that the right of access to justice belongs today to the domain of jus cogens. Without it, there is no legal system at all. The protection of the human person in the most adverse circumstances has evolved amongst considerations of ordre public. Such recent evolution has been contributing to the gradual expansion of the material content of jus cogens. Furthermore, the very notion of "victim" (encompassing direct, indirect and potential victims) has been the subject of a considerable international case-law. Victims have had their cause vindicated in situations of utmost adversity, if not defencelessness (e.g., abandoned or "street children", undocumented migrants, members of peace communities in situations of armed conflict, internally displaced persons, individuals in infra-human conditions of detention, surviving victims of massacres).


1. The Historical Recovery of the Human Person as Subject of the Law of Nations
2. The Exercise of the Right of Access to International Justice: The Right of International Individual Petition
3. Access to Justice at International Level and the Right to an Effective Domestic Remedy
4. The Interrelatedness between the Access to Justice (Right to an Effective Remedy) and the Guarantees of the Due Process of Law
5. Acess to International Justice in Relation to the Interaction between International Law and Domestic Law
6. Access to Justice: The Safeguard and Preservation of the Integrity of International Jurisdiction
7. New Developments in the Notion of "Potential Victim": The Preventive Dimension of Protection
8. The Protection of Victims in Situations of Great Adversity or Defencelessness - I
9. The Protection of Victims in Situations of Great Adversity or Defencelessness - II
10. Access to Justice of Victims of Massacres and Crimes of State
11. The Overcoming of Obstacles to Direct Access to Justice

About the author: 

Antonio A. Cancado Trindade is a Judge of the International Court of Justice, the former President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, and held the post of Professor of International Law at the University of Brasilia from 1978 to 2009.

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