Human Rights Regimes in the Americas

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Human Rights Regimes in the Americas examines the complex role of human rights norms and standards in the region’s progression, illustrating the evolution and impact of international conventions, laws and institutions. The chapters combine historical detail with a focus on presentday challenges for the regional and domestic human rights regimes, highlighting particular obstacles, successful approaches and strategies. Taking the reader through cases in North, Central and South America, the volume provides a rich account of the evolving regional environment for rights protection and promotion, which will be of particular interest to scholars of politics, human rights and law, as well as policymakers and practitioners at all levels.



Human rights in context: Brazil

A quarter century after the return to civilian rule in 1985, Brazil scores well on a number of minimum procedural measures of political rights: universal suffrage (illiterates acquired the right to vote in the 1988 Constitution); free and fair elections (fraud and high levels of spoilt votes were eliminated by the now comprehensive use of electronic voting); multi-party competition;1 and adequate separation of powers (excessive presidential powers, such as the extensive use of the decree law, were curtailed in 2002), with an autonomous, although not necessarily impartial or effective, judiciary. With respect to civil rights, Brazil has also signed up to all the regional and international human rights protocols and conventions, is an active backer of the United Nations (UN) system of human rights protection, and has been engaged in a gradual rapprochement with the Inter-American system. The 1988 Constitution offers wide-ranging guarantees for the protection of civil liberties, and Brazil was one of the first countries to institute a National Plan of Action on Human Rights.


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