The Inter-American Court has already begun to provide meaning to the terms of Article 5 through its contentious jurisdiction.
128) The Inter-American Court's contentious jurisdiction is particularly well-suited for this type of fact-specific determination because it enables the Court to determine on a case-by-case basis whether particular interrogation techniques are impermissibly coercive.
If the Court were to issue a particularly unpopular or controversial opinion, states would have less incentive to submit to the Court's contentious jurisdiction in the future, and those states which had already accepted its jurisdiction might disavow it.
In many respects, the Court's contentious jurisdiction is well-suited for expanding incrementally the rights of criminal defendants under the American Convention.
The Court has rendered thirteen opinions under its advisory jurisdiction and six opinions under its contentious jurisdiction.
The Court's advisory jurisdiction has been more productive primarily because the procedures for invoking this jurisdiction are less burdensome than the procedures for invoking its contentious jurisdiction.
Bringing a contentious case to the Court's cognizance is further complicated by the fact that individuals do not have standing to petition the Court and that the Court may adjudicate the matter only if the state party involved has accepted the Court's contentious jurisdiction.
Unfortunately, the Court's contentious jurisdiction is of only limited utility because of its burdensome procedures.