San José Pact and a law oblige Bolivia to abide by the judgments of the Inter-American Court of Justice

A special article of the Pact of San José de Costa Rica and a law of the Republic of Bolivia from 1993 oblige the Bolivian state to comply with the opinion of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights. whether or not unlimited re-election is a human right.

In 2017, the plurinational Constitutional Court approved Evo Morales for the fourth consecutive term in the failed October 2019 election.

According to Article 68 of the American Convention on Human Rights, “States parties to the Convention undertake to comply with the decision of the Court in any case to which they are party”. Bolivia became a State Party on July 27, 1993 when, during the presidency of Jaime Paz Zamora, it officially presented to the OAS the Convention ratified by Law 1430 of February 11, 1993.

This law states in its three articles that “the American Convention on Human Rights was approved and ratified”, signed November 22, 1969, the jurisdiction of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is recognized and it is recognized as being “legally recognized”, binding, unconditional and indefinite, the jurisdiction and jurisdiction of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights under Article 62 of the Convention.

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According to official documents, the Inter-American Court of Justice was created by the American Convention to hear cases of fundamental rights violations and to interpret and apply provisions of the Convention or other treaties on the application of human rights.

The so-called Consultative Jurisdiction represents a normative development jurisdiction and the sanctioning of an Advisory Opinion has the purpose of generating rules for understanding the consulted norm; it is binding and general for all members of the Organization of American States (OAS).

The TCP through Constitutional Judgment 0084/2017 of November 28, 2017 enabled the unlimited election of Evo Morales under the criterion of conventionality control and interpreted and concluded that Article 23 of the American Convention allows unlimited re-election as a human right.

Colombia has requested an opinion generally asking whether Article 23 allows for indefinite re-election as a human right. Since this question is of an abstract nature, it is clear that it has no specific cause, but the norm interpreted by the Inter-American Court of Justice becomes part of the basic text of the American Convention and is applied in a uniform manner by all contracting states.

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The application of the Opinion is defined by the Latin expression “ex nunc”, which means “from now on”, and the decisions of the Court of Justice are final and final under Article 67 of the Convention.


Constitutional experts reiterated that the position taken by some authorities and political actors in the government, in the sense that the opinion was not binding, “is a sign of ignorance of the subject”. They add that if the verdict states that indefinite re-election is not a human right, the verdict will be void in Morales’ favor.

Justice Minister Iván Lima said the re-election issue was no longer in force in Bolivia and that the Constitutional Court would determine the scope of the court’s judgment.

The Inter-American Court of Justice was due to publish its ruling on Friday, but it has been announced that it will first notify the states involved in this consultation.


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