Peyton Jacobsen


Through an in-depth examination of Hernández, the Inter-American Human Rights System, and the success of Mexico’s partnership with said system, this Note will make a case for embracing human rights bodies— specifically, the Inter-American System on Human Rights—as an appropriate and necessary check on the structures that form the United States government. Part I will look closely at the reasoning and judicially created doctrine that guided the decision in Hernández, with the goal of providing a better understanding of the complicated path through the courts that led to a seemingly straightforward yet unsatisfying result. Part II will illustrate the scope and purpose of the Inter-American Human Rights system and highlight how the system has addressed harms that reflect the themes in Hernández in the past. Part II will also argue that the Inter-American system provides a positive and necessary check on the domestic justice system in the United States. Part III will discuss Mexico’s relationship with the Inter-American System, and how the country has used its relationship with the body to provide meaningful relief to individuals who have been unable to access redress through available domestic remedies. Overall, the Note will argue that if invested in and embraced, the Inter-American System for Human Rights can provide meaningful and independent oversight to claims and problems that present specific politically sourced challenges and ultimately, that the United States should take a more open and proactive approach to engaging with it.