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THE END OF AMNESTY OR REGIONAL OVERREACH? INTERPRETING THE EROSION OF SOUTH AMERICA’S AMNESTY LAWS

  • Louise Mallinder

Abstract

The atrocious abuses committed under South America's dictators resulted in a wave of amnesties. Following transitions to democracy, challenges from victims and civil society unpicked several of these amnesties, leading to hundreds of perpetrators facing prosecution. These developments prompted far-reaching claims in academic literature and policy reports regarding the significance of the erosion of South America's amnesties for shaping international legal norms and policy preferences on amnesties within the region and beyond. This article draws on a comparative analysis of case law from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and national courts as well as legislative changes to argue that there is a regional trend to move away from broad, unconditional amnesties enacted during or after dictatorial rule. However, it notes that this is not universal across the region, nor does it represent a rejection of all forms of amnesty. The article then tests the claims being made in the literature regarding the significance of the regional trend on the legality, durability and desirability of amnesties. It finds that there is little evidence to support claims that the regional developments are indicative of a broader normative shift. It concludes by identifying the risks posed by regional overreach.

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1 See eg Arthur, P, ‘How “Transitions” Reshaped Human Rights: A Conceptual History of Transitional Justice’ (2009) 31(2) HumRtsQ 321.

2 See eg Sikkink, K, ‘From Pariah State to Global Protagonist: Argentina and the Struggle for International Human Rights’ (2008) 50 Latin American Politics and Society 1.

3 Although amnesty laws have been used across the Americas, the article focuses only on the experience of countries in the Southern Cone as amnesties in these countries largely shared common features and objectives. For example, the amnesties generally took the form of self-amnesties introduced during or soon after military dictatorships and it is in this part of the Americas where past amnesties have undergone the most sustained challenges. This analysis excludes Bolivia, Ecuador, and Venezuela, as amnesties were not enacted for those responsible for international crimes and serious human rights violations in these countries, although they have had amnesties in recent decades for political prisoners, exiles, anti-State demonstrators and coup participants. Also excluded are Paraguay and Guyana as neither have had an amnesty in recent decades.

4 See eg Arthur (n 1) 359–63. McAuliffe, P, ‘Transitional Justice's Expanding Empire: Reasserting the Value of the Paradigmatic Transition’ (2011) 2(2) Journal of Conflictology 32, 34.

5 The author is grateful to Prof Christine Bell for sharing her views on the idea of regional overreach in relation to this trend.

6 UN Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, The Administration of Justice and the Human Rights of Detainees: Question of Impunity of Perpetrators of Human Rights Violations (Civil and Political) UN Doc E/CN.4/Sub.2/1997/20/Rev.1 (2 October 1997) para 2.

7 ibid, para 2.

8 ibid, para 2.

9 See eg V Markarian, Left in Transformation: Uruguayan Exiles and the Latin American Human Rights Networks, 1967–1984 (Routledge 2005).

10 UN Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities, Resolution 1983/34, The administration of justice and the human rights of detainees. UN Doc E/CN.4/Sub.2/RES/1983/34 (6 September 1983).

11 DF Orentlicher. ‘“Settling Accounts” Revisited: Reconciling Global Norms with Local Agency’ (2007) 1(1) IJTJ 10, 11.

12 Decree Law No 2.191, art 1 (18 April 1978).

13 SA Canton, ‘Amnesty Laws’ in K Salazar and T Antkowiak (eds), Victims Unsilenced: The Inter-American Human Rights System and Transitional Justice in Latin America (Due Process of Law Foundation 2007) 168.

14 Ley de Punto Final, Ley 23.492 (December 1986).

15 Ley de Obediencia Debida, Ley 23.521 (June 1987)

16 Ley de Caducidad de la Pretensioó Punitiva del Estado, No 15.848 (December 1986).

17 Orentlicher (n 11) 13.

18 See eg Canton (n 13); Martin, C, ‘Catching up with the Past: Recent Decisions of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights Addressing Gross Human Rights Violations Perpetrated during the 1970s–1980s’ (2007) 7(4) HRLRev 774.

19 Roht-Arriaza, N, ‘After Amnesties Are Gone: Latin American National Courts and the New Contours of the Fight against Impunity’ (2015) 37(2) HumRtsQ 341. See also Kuwali, D and Acevedo, JP Pérez-León, ‘Smokescreens – A Survey of the Evolving Trends in Amnesty Laws in Africa and Latin America’ (2008) 2 Malawi Law Journal 115, 132.

20 C Collins, Post-transitional Justice: Human Rights Trials in Chile and El Salvador (Pennsylvania State University Press 2010) 33.

21 See eg Corte Suprema de Justicia, Suárez Mason, Carlos Guillermo, homicidio, privación ilegal de la liberdad, 29 September 1998.

22 Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Friendly Settlement, Report No 21/00, Case 12.059, Carmen Aguiar de Lapacó v Argentina, 29 February 2000.

23 For an overview of these developments, see Abregú, M, ‘La Tutela Judicial del Derecho a la Verdad en la Argentina’ (1996) 24 Revista Instituto Interamericano de Derechos Humanos 11; LG Filippini, Truth Trials in Argentina (non-published report on file with the author 2005).

24 Corte Suprema, 09/09/98, Pedro Enrique Poblete Córdova, Rol. 469-98, Revista Fallos del Mes, No 478, at 1760–1769 (decision No 3) (1998) English translation is in 2 Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law 485 (1999) (Chile).

25 Ley de Punto Final, Law No. 23.495 (1986) art 5; and Ley de Obedencia Debida (1987) art 2.

26 See eg Poder Judicial de la Nación, Roberto José Marquevich, Juez Federal: Videla, Jorge Rafael y otros (13 July 1998); Massera s/excepciones, Federal Court of Appeals of Buenos Aires, No 30514 (22 September 1999).

27 Huneeus, A, ‘Judging from a Guilty Conscience: The Chilean Judiciary's Human Rights Turn’ (2010) 35(1) L&SocInquiry 99, 103.

28 See eg Segunda Sala Corte Suprema de Justicia, Sentencia por Caso de Rafael Vergara Toledo y Eduardo Vergara Toledo (4 August 2010). For a description of these developments more generally see Collins, C, ‘Human Rights Trials in Chile during and after the “Pinochet Years”’ (2010) 4 IJTJ 67.

29 First Instance Civil Court in Montevideo, 10/05/00, ‘Almeida de Quinteros, María del Carmen c/Poder Ejecutivo (Ministerio de Defensa Nacional)’, Amparo (Sentencia No 28) Ficha 216/99.

30 Appellate Court of Montevideo, 31/05/00, ‘Almeida de Quinteros, María del Carmen c/Poder Ejecutivo (Ministerio de Defensa Nacional)’ (No 98).

31 Presidencia de la Republica, Comisión para la Paz, Informe Final, Montevideo (10 April 2003).

32 See eg Corte Suprema, 09/09/98, Pedro Enrique Poblete Cordova, Rol. 469-98, Revista Fallos del Mes, No 478, at 1760–1769 (decision No 3) English translation is in 2 Yearbook of International Humanitarian Law 485 (1999). See also the 2010 Prats case, summarized in Human Rights Observatory, Universidad Diego Portales, Santiago, Chile, Bulletin No 5 (April 2010).

33 See eg Massera s/excepciones, Federal Court of Appeals of Buenos Aires, No 30514 (22 September 1999); Corte Suprema, September 1998, ‘General Sergio Arellano Stark, Marcel Moren Brito and Armando Fernández Larios (“La Caravana de la Muerte”)’ (Chile); Supreme Court of Justice of Chile, Case of Claudio Abdón Lecaros Carrasco followed for the crime of aggravated kidnapping, Rol No 47.205, Recurso No 3302/2009, Order 16698, Judgment of Appeals, and Order 16699, Judgment of Replacement, of May 18, 2010; Auto de procesamiento de J C Blanco (18 October 2002) (Uruguay).

34 Juzgado Letrado de Primera Instancia en lo Penal de 1er. Turno, Auto de procesamiento de J C Blanco (18 October 2002) (Uruguay).

35 R Garces, ‘Police Arrest Former Uruguayan President and Foreign Minister in “Dirty War” Slayings’ Associated Press (18 November 2006).

36 Collins (n 20) fn 40.

37 Juzgado Nacional en lo Criminal y Correccional Federal No 4 Buenos Aires, 6/03/01, Resolución del Juez Federal Gabriel R Cavallo declarando la inconstitucionalidad y la nulidad insanable de los arts. 1 de la Ley de Punto Final y 1, 3 y 4 de la Ley de Obediencia Debida (No. 17.768) No 4, Sect No 7, Reg 19.193.

38 Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation of Argentina. Case of Simón, Julio Héctor et al. s/illegal deprivation of liberty, etc., Causa 17.768, Order of 14 June 2005.

39 Remedy of inconstitutionality (arts 1, 3 and 4 of Law No 15.848) – Sentencia de la Suprema Corte de Justicia, Ficha 97-397/2004, Fallo 365/2009 (19 October 2009).

40 Law No 26,479 (1995) and Law No 26,492 (1995).

41 I/A Court H.R., Case of Barrios Altos v Peru. Merits. Judgment March 14, 2001. Series C No. 75, para 41.

42 ibid, para 42.

43 ibid, para 44.

44 Burt, J-M, ‘Guilty as Charged: The Trial of Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori for Human Rights Violations’ (2009) 3(3) IJTJ 384, 390.

45 Ley No 24.952 Deroganse las Leyes Nros 23.492 y 23.521 (25 March 1998, promulgated on 15 April 1998).

46 Roht-Arriaza, N and Gibson, L, ‘The Developing Jurisprudence on Amnesty’ (1998) 20 HumRtsQ 843, fn 131.

47 Ley 25.779 – Declaranse insanablemente nulas las Leyes Nros 23.492 y 23.521 (2 September 2003).

48 I/A Court H.R., Case Gelman v Uruguay. Merits and Reparations. Judgment of February 24, 2011 Series C No 221.

49 Ley 18.831 Pretensión Punitiva del Estado, Restablecimiento para los Delitos Cometidos en Aplicación del Terrorismo de Estado Hasta el 1 Marzo del 1985 (27 October 2011).

50 ‘Flood of Law Suits after Uruguay Lifts Amnesty’, Agence France Presse (1 November 2011).

51 J-M Burt, ‘Recent Sentence by Uruguayan Supreme Court Obstructs Search for Truth and Justice’, Washington Office on Latin America (28 February 2013) available at <http://www.wola.org/commentary/recent_sentence_by_uruguayan_supreme_court_obstructs_search_for_truth_and_justice>.

52 Amnesty International, Uruguay – Key Human Rights Concerns (June 2013) <http://www.refworld.org/pdfid/537f0dac4.pdf>.

53 P Engstrom, ‘Brazil, (Post-)Transitional Justice and the Inter-American Human Rights System’ (4th International Conference for Human Rights, Palmas, November 2015) 4.

54 Schneider, N, ‘Impunity in Post-authoritarian Brazil: The Supreme Court's Recent Verdict on the Amnesty Law’ (2011) 90 European Review of Latin American and Caribbean Studies 39, 49.

55 Supremo Tribunal Federal (STF) (2010) ‘ADPF 153 – arguição de descumprimento de preceito fundamental’, online document, <http://www.stf.jus.br/portal/processo/verProcessoAndamento.asp>.

56 I/A Court H.R., Case of Gomes Lund et al. (‘Guerrilha do Araguaia’) v Brazil. Preliminary Objections, Merits, Reparations, and Costs. Judgment of November 24, 2010. Series C No. 219.

57 See eg P Abrão and MD Torelly, ‘Resistance to Change: Brazil's Persistent Amnesty and its Alternatives for Truth and Justice’ in LA Payne and F Lessa (eds), Amnesty in the Age of Human Rights Accountability: Comparative and International Perspectives (CUP 2012).

58 P Engstrom and A Hurrell, ‘Why the Human Rights Regime in the Americas Matters’ in M Serrano and V Popovski (eds), The Human Rights Regime in the Americas: Theory and Reality (United Nations University Press 2010) 37–8.

59 Colombia had amnesties for left-wing guerrillas in 1981, 1982, 1985, 1989, 1993, 1997, followed by more recent demobilization efforts that are discussed in Part III(E).

60 See eg I/A Court H.R., Case of Barrios Altos v Peru, Merits. Judgment 14 March 2001. Series C No 75, para 43.

61 See eg I/A Court H.R., Case of Gomes Lund et al. (‘Guerrilha do Araguaia’) v Brazil. Preliminary Objections, Merits, Reparations, and Costs. Judgment of 24 November 2010. Series C No 219, paras 174–175; I/A Court H.R., Case Gelman v Uruguay. Merits and Reparations. Judgment of 24 February 2011 Series C No 221, para 232; I/A Court H.R., Case of the Massacres of El Mozote and nearby places v El Salvador. Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of 25 October 2012. Series C No 252, para 296.

62 I/A Court H.R., Case Gelman v Uruguay. Merits and Reparations. Judgment of 24 February 2011 Series C No 221, para 238.

63 A Seibert-Fohr, Prosecuting Serious Human Rights Violations (OUP 2009) 63–4.

64 The concept of ‘cherry-picking’ is taken from McCrudden, C, ‘A Common Law of Human Rights? Transnational Judicial Conversations on Constitutional Rights’ (2000) 20(4) OJLS 499, 507.

65 I/A Court H.R., Case of Barrios Altos v Peru. Merits. Judgment 14 March 2001. Series C No 75.

66 See eg I/A Court H.R., Case of Myrna Mack Chang v Guatemala. Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of 25 November 2003. Series C No 101, paras 276–277; I/A Court H.R., Case of Molina Theissen v Guatemala. Reparations and Costs. Judgment of 3 July 2004. Series C No 108, paras 83–84; I/A Court H.R., Case of the Plan de Sánchez Massacre v Guatemala. Reparations. Judgment of 19 November 2004. Series C No 116, para 99; I/A Court H.R., Case of Carpio Nicolle et al. v Guatemala. Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of 22 November 2004. Series C No 117, para 130.

67 National Reconciliation Law, Decree Law 1445-96 (1996).

68 I/A Court H.R., Case of the Moiwana Community v Suriname. Preliminary Objections, Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of 15 June 2005. Series C No 124, para 167.

69 ibid, para 206.

70 ibid, para 207.

71 I/A Court H.R., Case of Tiu Tojín v Guatemala. Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of 26 November 2008. Series C No 190, para 89.

72 I/A Court H.R., Case of Tiu Tojín v Guatemala. Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of 26 November 2008. Series C No 190, para 90.

73 I/A Court H.R., Case of Almonacid Arellano et al. v Chile. Preliminary Objections, Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of 26 September 2006. Series C No 154, para 121.

74 ibid, para 171(3).

75 ibid, para 119.

76 ibid, para 121.

77 For a discussion of the response within Chile to the Almonacid-Arellano judgment, see A Huneeus, ‘Rejecting the Inter-American Court: Judicialization, National Courts, and Regional Human Rights’ in J Couso, A Huneeus and R Sieder (eds), Cultures of Legality: Judicialization and Political Activism in Latin America (CUP 2013).

78 I/A Court H.R., García Lucero et al. v Chile, Preliminary Objection, Merits and Reparations, Judgment of 28 August 2013, Series C No 267 (2013), para 154.

79 I/A Court H.R., García Lucero et al. v Chile, Preliminary Objection, Merits and Reparations, Judgment of 28 August 2013, Series C No 267 (2013), paras 150 and 223.

80 ibid, paras 152–153.

81 ibid, para 154.

82 See eg L Burgorgue-Larsen and AA Úbeda de Torres, The Inter-American Court of Human Rights: Case Law and Commentary (Oxford University Press 2011) 257.

83 Concurring Opinion of Judge García-Sayán, I/A Court H.R., Case of the Massacres of El Mozote and nearby places v El Salvador. Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of 25 October 2012. Series C No 252, para 4.

84 ibid, para 24.

85 Concurring Opinion of Judge García-Sayán, I/A Court H.R., Case of the Massacres of El Mozote and nearby places v El Salvador. Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of 25 October 2012. Series C No 252, para 29.

86 For more detailed analysis of conditional amnesties and alternative sanctions, see The Belfast Guidelines on Amnesty and Accountability (Transitional Justice Institute 2013).

87 See eg Ley 418 (1997) and Ley 782 (2002).

88 Ley 975 (2005).

89 I/A Court H.R., Case of the 19 Merchants v Colombia, Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of 5 July 2004, Series C No 109, para 263.

90 ibid, para 295.

91 Hilbrecht, C, ‘The Domestic Mechanisms of Compliance with International Human Rights Law: Case Studies from the Inter-American Human Rights System’ (2012) 34 HumRtsQ 959, 979.

92 The Justice and Peace Law also contains conditions for collective demobilization, see Law 975 (2005) art 10.

93 ibid, art 29.

94 I/A Court H.R., Case of the Rochela Massacre v Colombia. Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of 11 May 2007. Series C No 163.

95 ibid, para 185.

96 ibid, para 183.

97 ibid, para 192.

98 ibid, para 193.

99 ibid, para 196.

100 Concurring Opinion of Judge García-Sayán (n 83) para 30.

101 ibid (n 83) para 17.

102 Bakker, CAE, ‘The Full Stop to Amnesty in Argentina: The Simón Case’ (2005) 3(5) JICJ 1106, 1120.

103 Argentine Supreme Court decisions are adopted by majority and all judges append individual opinions.

104 Opinion of Justice Dr Don Juan Carlos Maqueda, Simón, Julio Héctor y otros s/privación ilegitima de la libertad, Supreme Court, causa No 17.768, (14 June 2005) S.1767.XXXVIII, at para 57. Full text available in Spanish at <http://www.asser.nl/upload/documents/20121101T045118-Simon_Corte_Suprema_Fallo_amnestia_14-6-2005.pdf>.

105 See eg ICJ, North Sea Continental Shelf cases, at 43, para 74; ICJ, Case concerning Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua, at 98, para 186.

106 H Thirlway, ‘The Sources of International Law’ in MD Evans (ed), International Law (4th edn, OUP 2014) 98. For an analysis contrasting traditional and modern approaches to interpreting customary international law, see BD Lepard, Customary International Law: A New Theory with Practical Applications (CUP 2010) 24.

107 See eg Prosecutor v Tadic, Decision on the Defence Motion on Jurisdiction (10 August 1995) para 76.

108 M Scharf, Customary International Law in Times of Fundamental Change (CUP 2013) 52–3.

109 See eg A Cassese and P Gaeta, Cassese's International Criminal Law (OUP 2013) 312; M Freeman, Necessary Evils: Amnesties and the Search for Justice (CUP 2011) 275–6.

110 I/A Court H.R., Case of Gomes Lund et al. (‘Guerrilha do Araguaia’) v Brazil. Preliminary Objections, Merits, Reparations, and Costs. Judgment of 24 November 2010. Series C No. 219, para 163.

111 ECCC Trial Chamber, Decision on Ieng Sary's Rule 89 Preliminary Objections (Ne Bis in Idem and Amnesty and Pardon), (3 November 2011) fn 107.

112 Excepción de inconstitucionalidad arts 1, 2 y 3 de la Ley No 18.831, IUE 2–109971/2011 (22 February 2013), (Sentencia No 20 IUE-2-109971/2011. Ministro Relator: Doctor Jorge O Chediak González. Disidencia del Ministro Ricardo C Pérez Manrique) available at <http://www.observatorioluzibarburu.org/media/uploads/21099712011a.pdf>.

113 L Laplante, ‘Outlawing Amnesty: The Return of Criminal Justice in Transitional Justice Schemes’ (2009) 49(4) VaJIntlL 915, 974.

114 Military and Paramilitary Activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v United States of America), Merits, Judgment, ICJ Rep 1986, para 186.

115 See eg UN Human Rights Committee, Concluding observations on the sixth periodic report of Chile, UN Doc CCPR/C/CHL/CO/6 (13 August 2014) para 9, ‘The State should repeal the Amnesty Decree-Law and ensure that it continues not to be applied to past human rights violations.’

116 See eg prohibitions on amnesties were proposed during the negotiations of the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and the 2006 International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance. However, in both instances, the proposals sparked deep disagreements among the negotiating States, with the result that consensus on the issue could not be reached and both resulting treaties are silent on amnesties. See eg W Schabas, Unimaginable Atrocities: Justice, Politics, and Rights at the War Crimes Tribunals (OUP 2012) 175; Report of the Intersessional Open-ended Working Group to Elaborate a Draft Legally Binding Instrument for the Protection of all Persons from Enforced Disappearance, UN Doc E/CN.4/2004/59 (2004).

117 eg Uruguayan President Sanguinetti justified his decision to pursue an amnesty saying, ‘The bottom line … is that either we're going to look to the future or to the past … If the French were still thinking about the Night of St Bartholomew, they'd be slaughtering each other to this day.’ See L Weschler, ‘The Great Exception II: Impunity’ New Yorker (10 April 1989). Also In Argentina, the emphasis placed on permanently ending criminal prosecutions is apparent in the title of the Ley de Punto Final (‘Full Stop’ Law), which introduced time limits in which prosecutions could occur in an attempt to limit the efforts to bring members of the armed forces to justice. In justifying this law, a government statement stressed the need ‘to turn a page in the nation's history’. See ‘Argentine Senate approves bill to limit human rights cases’, United Press International (22 December 1986).

118 Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Rule-of-Law Tools for Post-Conflict States: Amnesties’, HR/PUB/09/1 (2009) 1 (emphasis added).

119 Sikkink, K and Walling, C Booth, ‘The Impact of Human Rights Trials in Latin America’ (2007) 44(4) JPeaceRes 427, 442.

120 Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, Trial Chamber, Decision on Ieng Sary's Rule 89 Preliminary Objections (Ne Bis in Idem and Amnesty and Pardon), Case No 002/19-09-2007/ECCC/TC (3 November 2011) para 54.

121 See eg Decision on challenge to jurisdiction: Lomé Accord Amnesty in Prosecutor v Morris Kallon, Brima Bazzy Kamara, SCSL-2004-15-PT-060-I, SCSL-2004-15-PT-060-II, Appeal (13 March 2004).

122 Lessa, F et al. , ‘Persistent or Eroding Impunity: The Divergent Effects of Legal Challenges to Amnesties for Past Human Rights Violations’ (2014) 47(1) IsraelLRev 105.

123 R Jeffery, Amnesties, Accountability, and Human Rights (University of Pennsylvania Press 2014) 171.

124 L Mallinder, Amnesty, Human Rights and Political Transitions: Bridging the Peace and Justice Divide (Hart Publishing 2008) 84.

125 Jeffery (n 123) 169.

126 See eg Carothers, T, ‘The End of the Transition Paradigm?’ (2002) 13(1) Journal of Democracy 5; Mainwaring, S and Scully, TR, ‘Latin America: Eight Lessons for Governance(2008) 19(3) Journal of Democracy 113.

127 Sikkink and Booth Walling (n 119), 434.

128 Skaar, E, ‘Truth Commissions, Trials—or Nothing? Policy Options in Democratic Transitions’ (1999) 20 Third World Quarterly 1124.

129 See eg JP McSherry, Predatory States: Operation Condor and Covert War in Latin America (Rowman & Littlefield 2005).

130 Interviews with Daniela Paysee (Uruguay) and Mirna Goransky (Argentina) in November 2008.

131 See eg Collins, C, Balardini, L and Burt, J-M, ‘Mapping Perpetrator Prosecutions in Latin America’ (2013) 7(1) IJTJ 8

132 J Méndez, ‘Lessons Learned’ in K Salazar and T Antkowiak (eds), Victims Unsilenced: The Inter-American Human Rights System and Transitional Justice in Latin America (Due Process of Law Foundation 2007) 191 (emphasis added).

133 See Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Press Release No 91/10, ‘IACHR expresses concern over Decree 1097 in Peru’ (9 September 2010); ICTJ, Press Release, ‘Peru: Impunity Measure Repeal an Important Step, But More Needed for Accountability’ (16 September 2010); Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Press Release No 94/10, ‘IACHR expresses Satisfaction for Repeal of Peru's Decree 1097’ (17 September 2010).

134 ‘Surinamese Legislators Debate Contested Amnesty Bill’ World Markets (19 April 2007); ‘Surinam parliament delays debate over amnesty bill’, BBC Worldwide Monitoring (21 April 2007).

135 Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, Press Release, ‘IACHR Expresses Concern about Amnesty Legislation in Suriname’ (13 April 2012).

136 See Roht-Arriaza (n 19).

137 Oficina del Alto Comisionado para la Paz, ‘Borrador Conjunto Acuerdo sobre las Victimas del Conflicto’ (15 December 2015) <http://www.altocomisionadoparalapaz.gov.co/procesos-y-conversaciones/proceso-de-paz-con-las-farc-ep/documentos-y-comunicados-conjuntos/Documents/acuerdo-victimas.pdf>.

138 L Mallinder, ‘Amnesties’ Challenge to the Global Accountability Norm? Interpreting Regional and International Trends in Amnesty Enactment’ in LA Payne and F Lessa (eds), Amnesty in the Age of Human Rights Accountability: Comparative and International Perspectives (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2012) 84.

139 National Reconciliation, General Amnesty and National Stability Law, Official Gazette, Serial No 965 (13 Qaus 1387).

140 See Law 38, On Some Procedures for the Transitional Period (2 May 2012).

141 Constitution of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar 2008, art 445.

142 Law No 1 of 2012 Concerning the Granting of Immunity from Legal and Judicial Prosecution (Yemen).

143 Annex on Normalisation (2014) (Philippines) Section J.2.

144 Package of Measures for the Implementation of the Minsk Agreements (2015) (Ukraine) para 5.

145 Concurring Opinion of Judge García-Sayán, I/A Court H.R., Case of the Massacres of El Mozote and nearby places v El Salvador. Merits, Reparations and Costs. Judgment of 25 October 2012. Series C No 252, para 4.

146 See eg ONT Thoms, J Ron and R Paris. ‘State-Level Effects of Transitional Justice: What Do We Know?’ (2010) 4(3) IJTJ 329.

147 Although voting is mandatory in Uruguay, in the 2009 referendum only 48 per cent of voters opted to annul the law. This fell short of the required 50 per cent. See Plebiscito para anular Ley de Caducidad alcanza 48,03%, El Observador, 26 October 2009.

148 Freeman (n 109) 30.

149 TD Olsen, L Payne and A Reiter, Transitional Justice in Balance: Comparing Processes, Weighing Efficacy (United States Institute of Peace Press 2010).

150 ibid 154.

151 See eg GW Downs and AW Trento, ‘Conceptual Issues Surrounding the Compliance Gap’ in EC Luck and MW Doyle (eds), International Law and Organization: Closing the Compliance Gap (Rowman & Littlefield 2004).

152 See eg EM Hafner-Burton and K Tsutsui, ‘Human Rights in a Global World: The Paradox of Empty Promises’ (2005) 110 American Journal of Sociology 1373.

* Transitional Justice Unit, Ulster University, .

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