Costa Rica has for many years been deeply and genuinely committed to the worldwide rule of law and, in particular, to the protection of human rights through the inter-American legal system and to the jurisprudence of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
In the year 2000 Costa Rica’s Constitutional Chamber declared unconstitutional the country’s program of in-vitro fertilization, primarily because the program violated the right to life as guaranteed by the national Constitution and by international conventions, in that the in-vitro fertilization process exposed large numbers of embryos to death, as only a very small percentage of in-vitro fertilizations resulted in live births.
The following year a Costa Rican citizen brought proceedings against his country before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, arguing that the decision of the Constitutional Chamber violated the right of privacy, the right to raise a family, and other rights guaranteed by the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission agreed with the complainant, and, after unsuccessful attempts to negotiate a change in Costa Rica’s policy, referred the matter to the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.
In 2012, the Inter-American Court, by vote of five-to-one, decided that the 2000 decision of Costa Rica’s Constitutional Chamber was a violation by Costa Rica of the American Convention on Human Rights.
The work that follows analyzes and evaluates the decisions of the Constitutional Chamber and the Inter-American Court, and discusses the juridical aftermath of those decisions.
Robert S. Barker,
Inverting Human Rights: The Inter-American Court versus Costa Rica,
47 U. Miami Inter-Am. L. Rev.
Available at: http://repository.law.miami.edu/umialr/vol47/iss1/4