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Human Rights Prosecutions and the Participation Rights of Victims in Latin America

Law & Society Review, Vol. 47, Number 4, pp. 873-907, 2013

35 Pages Posted: 21 Aug 2015 Last revised: 24 Sep 2015

Veronica Michel

CUNY, John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Kathryn Sikkink

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Political Science; Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Date Written: 2013

Abstract

Since the 1980s, there has been a significant rise in domestic and international efforts to enforce individual criminal accountability for human rights violations through trials, but we still lack complete explanations for the emergence of this trend and the variation observed in the use of human rights prosecutions in the world. In this article, we examine the role that procedural law has had in allowing societal actors to influence in this rising trend for individual criminal accountability. We do this by focusing on participation rights granted to victims, such as private prosecution in criminal cases. Based on an exploration of an original database on human rights prosecutions in Latin America and fieldwork research in three countries, we argue that private prosecution is the key causal mechanism that allows societal actors to fight in domestic courts for individual criminal accountability for human rights violations.

Suggested Citation

Michel, Veronica and Sikkink, Kathryn, Human Rights Prosecutions and the Participation Rights of Victims in Latin America (2013). Law & Society Review, Vol. 47, Number 4, pp. 873-907, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2647505

Veronica Michel (Contact Author)

CUNY, John Jay College of Criminal Justice ( email )

445 W59th Street
New York, NY 10019
United States

Kathryn Sikkink

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities - Department of Political Science ( email )

Minneapolis, MN 55455-0410
United States
612-624-7513 (Phone)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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