This paper integrates the scholarship on compliance with international human rights courts to reflect upon how the literature approaches delays and compliance cycles. Building on this review, we propose a new analytical approach that helps distinguish between reparations prone to immediate or protracted implementation. We introduce two metrics to facilitate the interpretation of delays: the yearly probability of compliance and the expected time to compliance. We also show, using machine-learning tools, how scholars can reconstruct life cycles of compliance. The article illustrates the utility of this approach with an analysis of all cases decided by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACtHR) between 1989 and 2019. This analytical framework provides critical insights for courts and activists seeking to promote interventions at key moments when compliance is most likely. Moreover, the study underscores important lessons for the Inter-American Human Rights System. Current concerns about a compliance “crisis” at the IACtHR partly reflect a failure to distinguish between reparation types and the Court's preference for reparations requiring protracted implementation. By modeling compliance life cycles, our study opens a promising research avenue that can facilitate effectual and timely policy intervention.
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