Human Rights

Download Impunity and Human Rights in International Law and Practice by Naomi Roht-Arriaza PDF

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By Naomi Roht-Arriaza

As dictatorships topple around the globe and transitional regimes emerge from the political rubble, the recent governments inherit a legacy of frequent repression opposed to the civilian inhabitants. This repression levels from torture, pressured disappearances, and imprisonment to the killings of either genuine and perceived political rivals. still, the legit prestige of the perpetrators shields them from sanction, making a tradition of impunity within which the main inhumane acts may be conducted with no worry of repercussions. the hot governments strive against with even if to enquire earlier wrongdoings by way of kingdom officers. they need to be certain who, if any, of these chargeable for the worst crimes may be dropped at justice, no matter if this implies annulling a prior amnesty legislations or risking a violent backlash via army or safety forces. eventually, they need to make a decision tips to compensate the sufferers of this repression, if in any respect.
Beginning with a normal attention of theories of punishment and redress for sufferers, Impunity and Human Rights in foreign legislation and Practice explores how overseas legislations offers advice on those problems with research, prosecution, and repayment. It stories a number of the extra famous old examples of societies grappling with impunity, together with these coming up from the second one international warfare and from the autumn of the Greek, Spanish, and Portuguese dictatorships within the Seventies. nation reports from all over the world examine how the matter of impunity has been handled in perform within the final 20 years. The paintings then distills those reviews right into a normal dialogue of what has and hasn't labored. It concludes by means of contemplating the function of overseas legislation and associations sooner or later, in particular given renewed curiosity in foreign mechanisms to punish wrong-doers.
As participants, governments, and foreign corporations come to grips with histories of repression and impunity in nations all over the world, the necessity to outline criminal strategies and standards for facing previous abuses of human rights takes on a unique value. Impunity and Human Rights in overseas legislation and Practice goals to percentage their reports within the desire that attorneys, students, and activists in these nations the place facing the earlier is simply now turning into an relevant may possibly examine from those that have lately faced comparable demanding situations. This paintings can be crucial studying for legal professionals, political and social scientists, historians and reporters, in addition to human rights specialists involved in this significant issue.

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Extra info for Impunity and Human Rights in International Law and Practice

Sample text

3 The purpose of the principle is to ensure that those who commit crimes under international law are not granted safe haven anywhere in the world. The principle goes beyond universal jurisdiction by making prosecution mandatory, not permissive. The 1949 Geneva Conventions provide that the High Contracting Parties shall be under the obligation to search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed, such grave breaches, and shall bring such persons, regardless of their nationality, before its own courts .

Although the rules themselves may be humane and may try to avoid unnecessary suffering, they must make no exceptions. 53 For utilitarians, therefore, any exceptions to punishment must be carefully and narrowly drawn if used at all. Early retributivists, like early utilitarians, believed that punishment was a "categorical imperative";54 for Immanuel Kant, failure of a society to punish those who deserved punishment would make the members of that society themselves guilty of injustice. This was so because punishment was required to right a balance, to take away an injust benefit to the criminal.

These provisions are based on a rationale similar to that underlying universal jurisdiction for piracy; the crimes at issue both inherently threaten human life and create a threat to international peace, commerce, and stability. They represent the movement from permissive universal jurisdiction to mandatory action against the modern-day successors to the pirates of old. Genocide, Torture, and Disappearance After World War II, international lawyers sought mechanisms to ensure that the crimes of that period would not be repeated.

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