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Statute of IIHR


Legislative Branch
Law 6528 of July 30, 1980
The Legislative Assembly of the Republic of Costa Rica,

Decrees:

Constitutive agreement of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights

The Government of the Republic of Costa Rica (hereinafter “The Government”), represented at these proceedings by its Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship), Licenciado Rafael Angel Calderón Fournier, and its Minister of Justice, Licenciada Elizabeth Odio Benito, and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (hereinafter “the Court”), represented at these proceedings by its President, Doctor Rodolfo Piza Escalante, conclude this Constitutive Agreement and agree to establish the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights (hereinafter “the Institute”) with headquarters in San José, Costa Rica, in accordance with the following provisions:

FIRST: The Inter-American Institute of Human Rights is an autonomous, international academic institution, as described in Article 1 of its  Statutes, attached hereto and added as an annex to this Agreement, as approved by the Court.

SECOND:  The Government accords full juridical capacity to the Institute under the domestic law of Costa Rica, which status may be recorded in the Register of Persons of the Public Registry Office.

THIRD: The Institute as such, as well as its Director, its Deputy Director and its duly accredited Academic Staff, provided that they are neither Costa Ricans nor residents of the country, shall enjoy the immunities, exemptions and privileges established under the Agreement on Privileges and Immunities of the Organization of American States dated May 15, 1949, for their corresponding rank, without prejudice to any other privileges and immunities that may be granted by virtue of agreements entered into between the Institute and the Government.

FOURTH:  This Agreement shall enter into force, for purposes of the second and the third clauses, upon ratification by the Legislative Assembly of the Republic of Costa Rica. Signed in San José, on the thirtieth day of July, nineteen hundred eighty, in two copies in the Spanish language, both texts being equally authentic and valid.

For the Government of the Republic of Costa Rica Rafael Angel Calderón Fournier,
Minister of Foreign Affairs and Worship

Elizabeth Odio Benito,
Minister of Justice

For the Inter-American Court of Human Rights

 Rodolfo Piza Escalante,
President of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights




Statute of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights (IIHR)

The Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, established by the Constitutive Agreement concluded between the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the Government of Costa Rica, shall be governed by the following Statute:

1) The Institute is an autonomous international academic institution possessing all the requisite legal standing and capacity at the international and domestic and public and private levels for the teaching, research and promotion of human rights and related disciplines.

2) The Institute shall enjoy academic, operational, budgetary and financial autonomy.

3) The seat of the Institute shall be San José, Costa Rica.  It may establish offices and branches in any country of the Americas.

4) The Institute shall base its activities on the principles of representative democracy and the rule of law, ideological pluralism, respect for human rights and basic freedoms and their international protection, academic freedom, and international solidarity and cooperation, without discrimination of any type whatsoever.

5) The aims of the Institute shall be the teaching, research and promotion of human rights, with a multidisciplinary approach that should pay particular attention to the problems of the Americas.

6) The Institute shall relate its activities to the work of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and may collaborate with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and with any other institution that pursues analogous or complementary aims and objectives and respects the principles of the Institute.

7) The Institute may engage in any juridical act and carry out such other activities as may be necessary to achieve its objectives and, in particular, the following:

a) Organize conferences, colloquia, seminars, courses, meetings, round tables and, in general, employ any other method for the teaching, research and promotion of human rights;

b) Organize research programs on human rights that can be carried out with the cooperation of other national, foreign or international institutions that pursue analogous or complementary aims and share the principles of the Institute;

c) Foster teaching, research and promotion of human rights at all levels and types of education;

d) Develop publication programs;

e) Compile and distribute publications on human rights;

f)Create, develop and maintain a library specializing in human rights;

g) Establish a multidisciplinary information center on human rights, with special emphasis on the Americas;

h) Draw up projects for the establishment of national institutes for the protection and promotion of human rights in the Americas and provide advisory services to governments and public and private enterprises upon request; and

i) Carry out any other activity that might be useful or necessary for the attainment of its aims.

8) The Institute shall be composed of the following categories of members:

a) Individual: Experts on human rights and persons devoted to their defense, protection, teaching or research;

b) Honorary: Individuals who have distinguished themselves in serving the cause of human rights;

c) Associate:  As established by the Regulations; and

d) Sponsors:  Individuals or groups, whether international or national, public or private, who take an interest in, and contribute financially to, the cause of human rights through the Institute’s activities.

When it is deemed useful for the attainment of its aims, the Institute may involve any individual or group in its work without granting them membership status.

9) The members of the Institute shall be appointed by the Board in accordance with the relevant Regulations.

10) The organs of the Institute shall be:  the Board, the Permanent Commission and the Office of the Executive Director.

11) There shall also be a Conference of an essentially academic and consultative nature, composed of individual, honorary and associate members.  Sponsors shall have observer status.  The Board may invite other persons of prominence in the field of human rights to take part in the Conference.

12) The conference shall meet at such times and places as the Board shall determine.

13) In matters not governed by this Statute, the Conference shall function in accordance with the relevant general Regulations, as adopted by the Board. 14 The Board is the supreme organ of the Institute.  It has the following functions:

a) To name the members of the Institute;

b) To adopt the Institute’s general Regulations, as well as the statutes of any decentralized institutions that it may decide to establish;

c) To approve the creation and statutes of the National chapters;

d) To appoint the elective members of the Permanent Commission and create whatever commissions it deems advisable;

e) To name the Executive Director and Deputy Executive Director;

f) To receive the report on the activities of the Institute, presented by the Executive Director in consultation with the Permanent Commission;

g) To review the work program proposed by the Executive Director in consultation with the Permanent Commission;

h) To approve the Institute’s two-year budget, drafted by the Executive Director in consultation with the Permanent Commission;

i) To pass on the financial statements and the report presented by the External Auditor;

j)To amend this Statue; and

k) Any other powers that are not specifically assigned to any other organ of the Institute under this Statute of the General regulations. 15The Board shall be composed of no less than fifteen and no more than twenty-one members.  In addition, and on the basis of nominations by the Permanent Commission, the Board of Directors shall elect to the Board no less than four of the judges of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.  When the latter cease to hold the office of judge, they shall continue to serve as members of the Board for a period of three years.

16) The members of the Board shall be elected by cooptation for a term of three years.  They may be re-elected.

17) The Board shall have a President and two Vice-Presidents.  They shall be elected by the Board for a term of two years and may be re-elected.

The Board may designate honorary members who may participate in its sessions without the right to vote.

The Executive Director and the Deputy Executive Director shall serve as Secretaries of the Board.

18) The Board shall hold at least one regular annual meeting on a date to be fixed by the President.  It shall hold special meetings when convened by the President or the Permanent Commission.

19) An absolute majority of the current members of the Board shall constitute a quorum.  Decisions shall be adopted by the majority of the members present.  In case of a tie vote, the President shall cast the deciding vote.

20) The appointment of the members of the Institute and the exercise of the powers contemplated in Article 14, paragraph e), shall be decided by a majority of the members of the Board.  The same majority vote shall also be required in those cases where it is required under the current Statute.  

21) (a) The Permanent Commission shall be composed of the President, the two Vice-Presidents and two members of the Board elected by that body for a term of one year.

(b) The Permanent Commission shall meet when convened by the President.

(c) The duties of the Permanent Commission shall be to cooperate with the Office of the Executive Director in the discharge of its functions, providing it with advice when requested to do so and assisting it when deemed necessary.  It shall perform the functions of the Board when the latter is not in session, provided that such functions are not reserved exclusively to the Board, and discharge such duties as the Board may delegate or entrust to it.  The Permanent Commission shall present a report on these activities to the Board.

22) The Executive Director and, if appropriate, the Deputy Executive Director shall be appointed for a term of three years. They may not be members of the Board. These positions are of special trust. The Board may remove the Executive Director and the Deputy Executive Director at any time. Decisions regarding such removals must be made by a majority of the members of the Board.

23)The Executive Director may participate in the discussions of the Board, without the right to vote.

24) (a) The Executive Director is the legal representative of the Institute and shall have the following duties:

i. To prepare the report on activities, the general work program and the draft budget of the Institute, which shall be presented to the Board;

ii. To appoint the Institute’s technical and administrative staff, in accordance with the funds allocated in the budget;

iii. All others that are set out by this Statute, the Regulations and the Board;

iv. In general, all the functions inherent in the position as administrative head of the Institute.

(b) The Deputy Executive Director shall assist the Executive Director in the work of the Institute and shall assume the functions of that office in the latter’s absence.

25)The Institute’s sources of income shall include the following:

a) Dues, subsidies, donations and bequests;

b) Income derived from the Institute’s assets; and

c) Income resulting from work undertaken by the Institute.

26) The accounts of the Institute shall be examined by an External Auditor appointed by the Board of Directors. 27 This Statute may be amended by means of a resolution proposed by any member of the Board or by the Executive Director and approved by a majority of the members of the Board, after hearing the opinion of the Permanent Commission.

28) The Institute may be dissolved only by a resolution of the Board adopted by a majority of its members, after consultation with the Permanent Commission and the Executive Director.  The resolution ordering the dissolution of the Institute shall also regulate the disposition of its assets and designate a Liquidation Commission.       


Resolution of march 20, 1992 of the Board of Directors of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights, amending it's statute

On March 20, 1992, the Board of Directors of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights amended its Statute.

The Resolution adopted reads as follows:  

The Board of Directors of the IIHR, having constituted itself in a General Assembly and pursuant to the powers granted to it under Articles 14 and 27 of its Statute,

Hereby decrees:

I. That Article 15 of the Statute of the Inter-American Institute of Human Rights be amended to read as follows:  (see Article 15).

II. That this amendment shall enter into effect upon its adoption by the Board.

III. That the Executive Director be charged with the immediate publication of the amended Statute of the Institute.



  
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