While regional human rights charters are established to consider the specificities of their respective regions and are expected to provide either undiminished or restricted protection, aiming to create a more equitable protection system than the international one, the regional charters have often followed the same path as the international agreements. In these charters, certain provisions have been included under the pretext of "public interest" to restrict certain group rights. Undoubtedly, this term has directly influenced court decisions within regional human rights protection systems, leading to various limitations on human rights and granting courts the power to subject these rights to a balance test to serve the purpose of protecting public interest. This study, as its main objective, explores how the concept of public interest constraint was incorporated into regional charters concerning the rights to freedom of thought, conscience, religion, freedom of opinion, and expression. It also examines the influence of this concept on the decisions of regional courts when adjudicating disputes between states and individuals who resort to regional mechanisms for redress after exhausting their national legal remedies. By delving into the preparatory work behind regional charters and considering the political and legal contexts and their interactions, the study reveals that these factors have often led to the development of regional charters that closely align with international conventions for the protection of human rights, primarily for political reasons and in the interest of states. However, despite this alignment, the jurisprudence of regional courts in Europe, the Americas, and Africa has introduced new dimensions to interpret the boundaries of public interest. In the majority of the cases examined, the courts have ruled in favor of safeguarding individual rights.
Amouri, Yaser Dr. and Majdoubeh, Saja Ms.
"The Term “Public Interest” Within the Regional Human Rights Systems: Serves the Interest of the Individual or the State?,"
UAEU Law Journal: Vol. 2023:
96, Article 2.
Available at: https://scholarworks.uaeu.ac.ae/sharia_and_law/vol2023/iss96/2