The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is competent to receive petitions concerning alleged human rights violations:
- from any person or group of persons, or any legally recognized non-governmental entity; this competence is mandatory (art. 44); from one State party against another State party, if such competence has been recognized (art. 45).
- The Inter-American Court of Human Rights is competent to examine cases submitted to it by the States parties and the Commission provided that these cases have first been considered by the Commission (art. 61).