1.
The Dominican Republic has been a State Party to the American Convention on
Human Rights (hereinafter “the American Convention” or “the Convention”) since April 19,
1978 and recognized the contentious jurisdiction of the Court on March 25, 1999, in
accordance with Article 62(3).
2.
In 2008 the General Assembly of the Organization of American States (hereinafter
the “OAS”) created the Legal Assistance Fund of the Inter-American Human Rights System
and entrusted its regulation to the Permanent Council of the OAS. 2 Said Assistance Fund
was created to “facilitate access to the inter-American human rights system by persons who
currently lack the resources needed to bring their cases before it.” 3 In accordance with the
Rules of Procedure adopted by the Permanent Council of the OAS in November 2009, the
Assistance Fund of the Inter-American System maintains two separate accounts: one for the
Inter-American Commission and the other for the Inter-American Court.4 As to the financing
of the Assistance Fund of the Inter-American System, this is currently comprised of
“voluntary capital contributions from the Member States of the OAS, the Permanent
Observer States and other States and donors that may wish to collaborate with the Fund.” 5
Likewise, pursuant to Article 4 of the Rules of Procedure approved by the Permanent
Council, the Court shall determine the eligibility requirements for requesting assistance as
well as the procedure for approving such assistance.
3.
Accordingly, on February 4, 2010 the Court adopted the Rules for the Operation of
the Assistance Fund, (hereinafter the “Rules of the Assistance Fund”), which entered into
force on June 1, 2010, and whose purpose is to “regulate the operation of, and access to,
the […] Fund, for the litigation of cases before it.”6 As established therein, alleged victims
wishing to have access to the Fund must follow three steps: 1) request assistance in the
brief containing pleadings, motions and evidence; 2) demonstrate, by means of a sworn
affidavit and other probative evidence that will satisfy the Court, that they lack the financial
resources needed to cover the cost of litigation before the Inter-American Court, and 3)
state precisely the aspects of their participation in the proceedings that require the use of
resources of the Court’s Legal Assistance Fund.7
4.
As stipulated in Article 3 of the Rules of the Court’s Assistance Fund, in response to a
request to access the Fund’s resources, the Secretariat of the Court shall conduct a
preliminary review of the request for assistance and shall require the requesting party to
present the background information necessary so that the request may be submitted to the
consideration of the President. The President of the Court shall then evaluate the request
and make a decision within three months as of the date on which the required background
information is received.
2

Cf. AG/RES. 2426 (XXXVIII-O/08) Resolution adopted by the General Assembly of the OAS during the
Thirty-Eighth Regular Session of the OAS, at the fourth plenary session, held on June 3, 2008, “Establishment of
the Legal Assistance Fund of the Inter-American Human Rights System,” Operative Paragraph 2.b.
3

AG/RES. 2426 (XXXVIII-O/08), supra note 2, Operative paragraph 2.a, and CP/RES. 963 (1728/09),
Resolution adopted on November 11, 2009 by the Permanent Council of the OAS, “Rules of Procedure for the
Operation of the Legal Assistance Fund of the Inter-American Human Rights System,” Article 1(1).
4

Cf. Resolución CP/RES. 963 (1728/09), supra note 3, Article 3(1).

5

Resolution CP/RES. 963 (1728/09), supra note 3, Article 2(1).

6

Rules for the Operation of the Victims’ Legal Assistance Fund of the Inter-American Court of Human
Rights, approved on February 4, 2010, Article 1.
7

Cf. Rules of the Assistance Fund, supra note 6, Article 2.

2

Select target paragraph3