The Role of Domestic Courts in International Human Rights Law: The Constitutional Court of Colombia and Free, Prior and Informed Consent

in International Journal on Minority and Group Rights
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The internalization of international law by domestic courts is central to the effective implementation of international human rights law. This is particularly true for emerging rights rooted in soft law. In this regard, indigenous peoples’ rights have significantly expanded in international law over the past 20 years, essentially in the form of soft law. As a case study, the review of the jurisprudence of the Constitutional Court of Colombia illustrates ‘progressive’ interpretation of soft law, notably on free, prior and informed consent, which is enshrined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Thus, domestic courts not only implement international human rights law, but they also foster its development.




Scheinin, ibid., p. 417.


Gilbert, supra note 5, p. 211.


Jovanović, supra note 4, p. 647 in reference to W. Kymlicka, Multicultural Citizenship: A Liberal Theory of Minority Rights (Oxford University Press, New York, 1995).


Gilbert and Doyle, supra note 5; A. Xanthaki, ‘Indigenous Rights in International Law over the Last 10 Years and Future Development’, 10:27 Melbourne Journal of International Law (2009) pp. 34–37; J. M. Pasqualucci, ‘International Indigenous Land Rights: A Critique of the Jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Light of the United Nations Declaration on The Rights of Indigenous Peoples’, 27:51 Wisconsin International Law Journal (2009) p. 86.


Barelli, supra note 6, pp. 15–16; Pentassuglia, supra note 35, p. 193.


Gilbert and Doyle, supra note 5, p. 319.


Barelli, supra note 5, p. 16.


Gilbert and Doyle, supra note 5, fn 55.


Barelli, supra note 5, p. 15.


Gilbert and Doyle, supra note 5; Barelli, supra note 5.


C. Botero Marino, ‘Multiculturalismo y derechos de los pueblos indígenas en la jurisprudencia de la Corte Constitucional’, Precedente (2003) p. 45.


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