The Dominican Republic Withdraws from IACHR Jurisdiction After the Court Issues an Unfavorable Decision

By Ena Cefo

The United Nations voiced its concern over the Dominican Republic’s withdrawal from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR). The withdrawal from the court’s jurisdiction follows the IACHR’s order that the Dominican Republic should revoke its September 2013 domestic court judgment that children of undocumented Haitian migrants cannot obtain Dominican nationality. The Court expressed concern that this judgment denationalized hundreds of thousands of people who have been considered Dominican throughout their lives and found the judgment to be discriminatory against Afro-descendants within the country, i.e., Dominicans of Haitian descent. The Dominican Republic withdrew from the IACHR’s jurisdiction, claiming that the country’s recognition of the jurisdiction was “unconstitutional,” but the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) voiced its hopes that the country would reconfirm the jurisdiction of the IACHR.