The international protection of human rights is generally recognized as a fundamental aim of modern international law. Even a cursory review of legal systems for the protection of human rights demonstrates the rapid expansion of this field since the end of World War II. During this period, nearly all global and regional organizations have adopted human rights standards and addressed human rights violations by member states. As a consequence, no state today can claim that its treatment of those within its jurisdiction is a matter solely of domestic concern. In this book, Dinah Shelton examines the development of regional organizations and the role that human rights plays in them. It examines in particular the question of what human rights obligations states assume upon joining the regional bodies and how regional concern with human rights intersects with the global system elaborated in the context of the United Nations. This work is the first devoted to the European, Inter-American and African systems for the protection of human rights. It also discusses the prospects for regional systems in the Middle East and Asia. The Jurisprudence of the European and Inter-American Courts and decisions of the Inter-American and African Commissions are emphasized, including decisions on the interpretation and application of various human rights, procedural requirements and remedies. The book aims to expose the readers to the basic documents of each system and their inter-relationships, to enable the audience to apply those documents to ever-changing fact situations, and to alert them to the dynamic nature of regional human rights law and institutions. It also seeks to relate regional systems to national law and to the global system for the protection of human rights. Regional Protection of Human Rights illustrates how international human rights law is interpreted and implemented. The selections offer examples of political, economic and social problems as well as legal issues to show the significant impact of international human rights law institutions on the constitutions, law, policies, and societies of the regions. In addition to serving as a text for courses on human rights law, the book will be useful for courses in international law, international relations, and political science. It will also be a helpful resource for lawyers and policy-makers concerned with the protection of human rights.