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Ghosts Also Die: Resisting Disappearance through the 'Right to the Truth' and the Juicios por la Verdad in Argentina

Published in Journal of International Criminal Justice. 2014, vol. 12, no. 3, p. 515-538
Abstract This paper attempts to provide a more complete understanding of the so-called right to the truth, deriving from court-made doctrine in the human rights field, and associated with an alternative form of legal proceeding in Argentina that has no equivalent anywhere else in the world: the trial for the truth (juicio por la verdad), a procedure sui generis created in the aftermath of the military dictatorship in response to both the politics of forgetting that prevailed in the 1990s and the continuing obstruction of criminal proceedings down to 2003 due to amnesty laws. Protecting the right to the truth fulfils three functions by turns: first, it makes possible conciliation of amnesty with the right to judicial protection; second, it constitutes the condition for real access to justice; third, it validates the reality of the crime. Each of these functions is associated with one of the three elements, which, together, comprise the struggle against impunity: investigation, sanction, and reparation. Situated between truth commissions and classic criminal proceedings, symbolic reparation and retribution, the Argentinian trials for the truth offer a new way of conceiving both the criminal-law judge's mission and the relations among law, truth, history, and memory in the context of the rich debates about (post-)transitional justice.
Note The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme (FP/2007-2013) / ERC Grant Agreement n° 283-617.
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GARIBIAN, Sévane. Ghosts Also Die: Resisting Disappearance through the 'Right to the Truth' and the Juicios por la Verdad in Argentina. In: Journal of International Criminal Justice, 2014, vol. 12, n° 3, p. 515-538. doi: 10.1093/jicj/mqu030 https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:38728

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Deposited on : 2014-07-17

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