The Mandatory Death Penalty in the Commonwealth Caribbean and the Inter-American Human Rights System: An Evolution in the Development and Implementation of International Human Rights Protections

By Brian D. Tittemore / William and Mary Bill of Rights 13 (2), 445, on 1 January 2004

Among the most significant and compelling aspects of the litigation surrounding the issue of the mandatory death penalty in the Caribbean region has been the interplay between the procedures and jurisprudence of the inter-American human rights system and those of relevant domestic courts. In particular, the supervisory bodies of the inter-American system have relied upon the decisions of appellate courts in certain states employing the death penalty, and have concluded that the practice of mandatory sentencing for the death penalty contravened applicable international human rights norms. Subsequently, appellate courts in the Caribbean region explicitly relied upon the jurisprudence of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in interpreting and applying rights that are protected under national constitutions. Moreover, the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council found that the protection of due process of law under national constitutions extend to the procedures before the inter-American human rights system,’ with the consequence that states were barred from executing capital defendants while their pending cases were before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and, where available, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights.

  • Document type Article
  • Themes list Mandatory Death Penalty,