Interim Measures Before the Inter-American and African Human Rights Commissions: Strengths and Weaknesses
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Interim measures in international human rights law may be defined as a tool, the purpose of which is to prevent irreparable harm to persons who are in a situation of extreme gravity and urgency. Interim measures result in an immediate protection offered by the member State to the beneficiaries in compliance with the order issued by an international body. This article aims to illustrate that although interim measures in the African and the Inter-American system have been a useful legal tool to avoid (further) human rights violations in difficult situations, there are still some obstacles that may lead to the interim measures not functioning as one would wish. We begin by mentioning three aspects of interim measures that lend themselves to a comparison between the two regional systems: the admissibility requirements; the frequency of their use; and the rights and beneficiaries protected through these interim measures. Taking into account the aforementioned comparison, the merits and deficiencies of interim measures in regional human rights systems will be highlighted, and recommendations will be advanced for improving their functioning and impact.