International Human Rights Law and its influence on the Ecuadorian Legal System

By: Lwy. Emilia Andrade

Throughout its history, Ecuador has been one of the main countries to ratify a large number of international treaties, obliging itself to respect, protect and fulfil each of the obligations and duties acquired through these treaties. Among the most important human rights treaties are the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the American Convention on Human Rights (Pact of San Jose, Costa Rica), among others. International Human Rights Law is part of the Ecuadorian constitutional block and has the same normative hierarchy as the Constitution of the Republic of Ecuador, or even higher, to the extent that it establishes more favorable rights.

It is necessary to emphasize that both international treaties (which commit governments to adopt measures and domestic laws compatible with the obligations and duties set out in them) and customary law are the core of international human rights law, but there are other instruments, such as declarations, guidelines, principles, among others, which are also fundamental for the development of human rights.

It is for this reason that, all the treaties, declarations, guidelines and principles, situations have been changed which, for years in Ecuador (despite going against the supreme norm), had not even been considered, for example, same-sex marriage. Thus, the parameters established in International Human Rights Law (binding or not), are verified as a suitable mechanism when reinterpreting, understanding or regulating different human rights situations within the Ecuadorian legal system.