Talk Title: "The Unintended Consequences Of Non-Judicial Redress For Human Rights Violations"
Abstract: Over 100 countries have established national human rights commissions (NHRIs) to help victims of abuse seek remedy for their abuses. This paper studies how these quasi-judicial bodies trigger settlements in the shadow of courts. The NHRIs provide alternative dispute settlement tools between victims and state bodies that are used as an alternative to judicial remedies. While helpful to victims, NHRI settlements may have negative externalities by preventing legal developments that can be of value to future victims. In this way, NHRIs may help current victims at the potential cost to future victims, by creating paths for individual remedies outside the courts that have less positive externalities than judicial rulings. This paper tests the theory with evidence from Mexico’s human rights commissions, and exploits the anti-drug trade organizations policies to examine if commissions are increasing prosecutions of violations of rights.