This article describes and analyzes several safeguards of the independence of the Inter-American judge. It concludes that the system enshrined in the American Convention on Human Rights, the Statute of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Court’s practice are not enough to guarantee the appearance of independence of the Court’s judges. The major problem is the process of nomination and election of judges. At both national and international levels the process is not clear, transparent, or accountable. Women and ethnic and cultural groups are underrepresented. Judges’ terms of office and the re-election possibilities should be revised. Lastly, some guidelines should be adopted in order to regulate judges’ outside activities, incompatibilities, and disqualifications. All these issues should by addressed by the Organization of American States, States Parties to the Convention, and the Court itself, and this article gives some recommendations in this respect.
CEJIL, op. cit., p. 18,and Asociación por los Derechos Civiles (ADC), El fortalecimiento de la Corte Interamericana de Derechos Humanos, n/d, p. 6, available at http://www.adc-sidh.org/images/files/elfortalecimientodelacorteinteramericanadederechoshumanos1.pdf.
Mackenzie, R. & Sands, P.,‘International Courts and Tribunals and the Independence of the International Judge’, (2003) 44 Harvard International Law Journal, p. 273.
Meron, op. cit., p. 365. Additionally, Principle 9.2 of the Principles provides that: ‘Judges shall not serve in a case with the subject-matter of which they have had any other form of association that may affect or may reasonably appear to affect their independence or impartiality’.