A Full Stop to Amnesty in Argentina: The SimóN Case
Posted: 29 Feb 2008
Date Written: November 2005
In Simón, the Argentine Supreme Court held that two amnesty laws, adopted in the late 1980s in order to shield authors of serious human rights violations committed during the so-called `Dirty War` (1976-1983), were unconstitutional and void. Although the Argentine Congress had already repealed the two laws in 2003, uncertainty about the validity of this parliamentary decision had led to some controversy. With its decision in Simón, the Supreme Court puts an end to the legal uncertainty concerning the prosecution of serious human rights violations committed under the military regime and definitively clears the path for judicial actions against their authors. Setting aside deeply rooted national legal principles - such as statutory limitations, the principle of legality and amnesties - the Argentine Supreme Court has confirmed the role of human rights principles and of public international law in general in dealing with the most heinous crimes against humanity.
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