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Abstract

In a decision that shocked the inter-American human rights world, the Argentinean Supreme Court in February 2017 refused to comply with an InterAmerican Court of Human Rights decision ordering it to revoke a domestic judgment. At issue was a case in which Argentina's Supreme Court had affirmed a civil judgment that found two journalists liable for defamation for publishing stories about an unacknowledged child of former President Carlos Menem in 2001. Ten years later, the Inter-American Court found that the Argentinean Supreme Court's affirmation of the civil judgment against the journalists violated the journalists' right to freedom of expression under the American Convention on Human Rights-the region's core human rights treaty. The InterAmerican Court ordered Argentina's Supreme Court to "revoke the decision in its entirety." In 2016, Argentina's president asked the Supreme Court to comply with the Inter-American Court's decision and revoke the 2001 ruling, but the Supreme Court declined to do so, arguing that the Inter-American Court lacked the authority to order the revocation of a domestic judgment.

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