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Truth versus impunity: Post-transitional justice in Argentina and the ‘human rights turn'

ContributorsGaribian, Sévane
Published inAfrican yearbook of rhetoric, vol. 6, no. 1, p. 63-73
Publication date2015

The juridical treatment of the crimes committed by the Argentine dictatorship can be divided into two stages – the transitional phase proper (from 1983 to the 1990s) and the post-transitional phase (from the 1990s to the present day) – constituting a return trip from punishment to pardon, and back again. Both phases saw a number of abrupt about-turns, each corresponding to a shift in the paradigm through which the abuses committed by the military regime were confronted. The period between these two phases, meanwhile, saw the appearance of the ‘human rights turn' based on a prescriptive injunction to pursue what was seen as a necessary fight against impunity for perpertrators of the most serious crimes. This development gave rise to new subjective human rights (such as the ‘right to the truth') which would in turn contribute to developments in criminal law relating to these matters. The criticisms voiced in relation to this ‘criminalisation of human rights', along with the highly complex and diverse nature of the Argentine experience, illustrate the uncertainties with which we are inevitably confronted when attempting to re-think the very notion of justice during a stage of political (post-)transition in the aftermath of a period of state-committed mass crimes, with the inevitable degree of creative transformation of the law and its functions that this entails.

NoteTraduction anglaise (abrégée) de : "Vérité vs. impunité. La justice (post-)transitionnelle en Argentine et le human rights turn", in Kora ANDRIEU et Geoffroy LAUVAU dir., Quelle justice pour les peuples en transition ? Pacifier, démocratiser, réconcilier, Presses Universitaires de la Sorbonne, Paris, 2014, pp. 91-109. - Traduction espagnole parue en 2017 : "Verdad versus impunidad. La justicia (post)transicional en Argentina y el ‘human rights turn'", in José López MAZZ, Elisabeth ANSTETT et Denis MERKLEN dir., Después de la violencia. El presente político de las dictaduras pasadas, Ediciones de la Banda oriental, Montevideo, 2017, pp. 97-109. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:94087.
Citation (ISO format)
GARIBIAN, Sévane. Truth versus impunity: Post-transitional justice in Argentina and the ‘human rights turn”. In: African yearbook of rhetoric, 2015, vol. 6, n° 1, p. 63–73.
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Article (Published version)
  • PID : unige:48356
ISSN of the journal2220-2188

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