An Invitation to Mexican Courts to Engage with Transnational Sources of Law

Zulima González

Abstract

In 2009, Mexican Courts started to engage in a transnational conversation between foreign courts. After Mexico was sentenced by the Inter- American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) in the case of Radilla Pacheco, the Mexican Supreme Court determined, among other things, that all national judges must examine the human rights interpretations issued by the Federal Judiciary and the IACHR, choosing the most favorable and effective interpretation to protect human rights, applying the pro homine principle. Nonetheless, nothing has been said about using case law from foreign courts as persuasive authority to find this “most favorable and effective interpretation of human rights” in Mexico. This article analyses whether Mexican courts should take into account the interpretations of foreign courts as persuasive authority when determining standards and scope of human rights, besides IACHR case law. I evaluate different theories that support the use and citation of foreign precedents, as well as arguments that raise concerns about citing foreign courts to interpret domestic legal frameworks. I conclude that, in order to make use of the most effective principles and standards of human rights, as the pro persona principle suggest, Mexican Courts should consider foreign case law.

Keywords

Human Rights; case law; sources of law; persuasive authority; pro persona principle

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