Preventing Irreparable Harm

Provisional Measures in International Human Rights Adjudication

By Eva Rieter

International human rights adjudicators, while facing urgent cases, have used provisional measures in order to prevent irreparable harm, e.g. to order States to halt an expulsion, the execution of a death sentence, the destruction of the natural habitat, as well as to ensure access to health care in detention or protection against death threats. In the practice of the various adjudicators, the traditional concept of provisional measures has undergone a process of humanization. Preventing Irreparable Harm addresses the question of how such provisional measures can be made as persuasive as possible. Apart from the Inter-American Court, none of the human rights adjudicators motivate or publish their provisional measures. Yet the book analyzes their best practices and obstacles, determines the underlying rationale for their use of provisional measures, and establishes the core of the concept of provisional measures that all adjudicators have in common. It argues that clarity - on what belongs to the core of the concept and on what does not belong to the concept at all - enhances the persuasive force of provisional measures. The practices of the international adjudicators that are made accessible in this book will prove useful in the ongoing cross-fertilization that occurs among these adjudicators. Moreover, the analysis provided allows individual victims, their counsel, NGOs, as well as international institutions, to address more effectively urgent human rights cases.


1240 pages

Publication Date: 4/30/2010
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9789050959315