“The exercise of public authority has certain limits which derive from the fact that human rights are inherent attributes of human dignity and are, therefore, superior to the power of the State”.
The obligation to “ensure … the free and full exercise of those rights and freedoms” thus “implies the duty of the States Parties.
The legal obligation to “ensure” the rights and freedoms contained in the American Convention on Human Rights means that the States parties must prevent, investigate and punish human rights violations and that they must, if possible, restore the rights violated, and provide compensation as warranted for damages.
Inter-American Court of HR’s Advisory Opinion
- The rights protected by the Convention cannot, per se, be suspended even in emergency situations, because they are “inherent to man”.
- “what may only be suspended or limited” under the Convention is the “full and effective exercise” of the rights contained therein.
(I-A Court HR, Habeas Corpus in Emergency Situations (arts. 27(2), 25(1) and 7(6), Advisory Opinion OC-8/87 of January 30, 1987, Series A, No. 8, para. 18 at p. 37.)