Non-pecuniary damage under the American convention on human rights: an empirical analysis of 30 years of case-law

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An international law on damages for human rights violations is rapidly emerging. Within this developing law, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights has
become the main source of reference for the determination of non-pecuniary damage. This Article undertakes an empirical analysis of the first thirty years of this court’s case law, assessing the criteria it has developed for quantifying non-pecuniary damage following a finding of a violation of the right to life. Through the use of statistical analysis, the Article tests the significance of the identified criteria for the determination of the amounts awarded to compensate the non-pecuniary damage suffered by 476 victims. The findings of the Article raise important concerns that lead to the conclusion that the Inter-American Court’s practice in this area has been either inconsistent, secretive, or both.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-36
JournalHarvard Human Rights Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2021